Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World by Laura Spinney
Because the flu had targeted those aged twenty to forty, many dependants found themselves deprived of their breadwinners. Some were caught in a very fragile, very threadbare safety net. Among them were the lucky beneficiaries of life insurance policies: the U.S. life insurance industry paid out nearly $100 million in claims after the pandemic — the equivalent of $20 billion today. Others had been named in wills. Upon the death from flu of one German immigrant to America, for example, his widow and son received a sum of money. They invested in property, and today the immigrant’s grandson is a property magnate purportedly worth billions. His name is Donald Trump.
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