Billionaire banking heir and cryptocurrency investor Matthew Mellon dead at 54

Matthew Mellon (2nd L) and guests attend Dom Perignon, Alex Dellal, Stavros Niarchos & Vito Schnabel host From Earth to Heart at The W Hotel South Beach on December 4, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by )
Matthew Mellon, centre, at a Dom Perignon party in Miami in 2015.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Dom Perignon

  • Billionaire Matthew Mellon is dead at 54.
  • He died in Mexico after struggling with an addiction to painkillers.
  • Mellon is a descendant of the founders of Mellon Bank and investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert.
  • In recent years he made a reported $1 billion investing in cryptocurrency XRP.

LONDON — Billionaire banking heir and cryptocurrency investor Matthew Mellon has died in Mexico, according to multiple press reports. He was 54.

His cousin Peter Stephaich confirmed Mellon's death but declined Tuesday to provide any details, according to Bloomberg.

A representative told the New York Post that the billionaire "died suddenly" in Cancun, Mexico, where he was due to attend a drug rehabilitation facility.

Dr. Alberto Sola, Medical Director at Clear Sky Recovery, said in a statement: "Matthew Mellon arrived in Cancun Mexico with his private entourage on Sunday, April 15, 2018. He arrived by private plane and checked into his hotel in Cancun Mexico.

"Mr. Mellon was scheduled to check-in at Clear Sky Recovery on Monday April 16, 2018. We received word that he had died at his hotel on the morning of April 16th, prior to his scheduled check-in.

"We have no further comment regarding this unfortunate situation."

He was the former chair of the finance committee of the Republican Party in New York, and had struggled with an addiction to opioid-based painkillers Oxycontin.

Mellon was the descendant of two great banking dynasties. On his father's side, he was descended from the founder of Mellon Bank, now part of BNY Mellon. And on his mother's side, he was related to Anthony Joseph Drexel, the cofounder of now-defunct Wall Street investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert, which pioneered junk bonds in the 1980s.

In recent years, Mellon had also made money investing in cryptocurrencies. He was an early investor in XRP, the cryptocurrency linked to startup Ripple, and Forbes reported in February of this year that his investment in the cryptocurrency was worth $1 billion.

Mellon's representative told the New York Post: "Mellon made his fortune in cryptocurrency, turning a $2 million investment into $1 billion."

Mellon is survived by his first wife, Jimmy Choo cofounder Tamara Mellon, his second wife, fashion designer Nicole Hanley, and his three children.

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