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Mark Twain


On August 18, 1910, Mark Twain’s first and only grandchild was born at Stormfield, in Redding, Connecticut. Nina Gabrilowitsch was born four months after the death of her grandfather. Soon after her birth, the family moved to Europe and stayed there until World War I broke out. In 1918 Ossip Gabrilowitsch became the conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and it was a position he stayed at until his death on September 14, 1936. Clara, now a widow, moved to Los Angeles, where her daughter Nina joined her after making a failed attempt as an actress in New York City. Nina was also ending a failed marriage to Carl G. Roters, who was an artist. On May 11, 1944, Clara was remarried to Jacques Alexander Samoussoud, another Russian musician who had been a friend of her late husband and was twenty years her junior. Samoussoud had a gambling problem and in 1951 Clara was forced to sell her Hollywood home and many valuable manuscripts at a public auction in order to satisfy their creditors. They would eventually move to San Diego where Clara died on November 19, 1962 from congestive heart failure. Nina, who had come to be known as Nina Clemens, had struggled for many years with addictions to drugs and alcohol. She had primarily relied on the trust funds from her grandfather’s estate. She got into a heated battle with her mother’s widower for control of the funds, which lasted for several years. On January 19, 1966, Nina was found dead in a Los Angeles hotel from an overdose of barbiturates, dying childless. Jacques would die on June 13, 1966. Nina was buried alongside her parents in Woodlawn Cemetery, near the grave of her grandfather, Mark Twain.

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