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Born in 1949, Adolph Bunker Spreckels III – great grandson of a Germany-born sugar baron, railway tycoon and publisher, Claus Spreckels – grew up in the lap of luxury.When he was five, the world’s most famous man became his stepfather. Clark Gable schooled him in the art of hunting and women and revealed the illusory insanity of the image factory to his young charge.However at 18, Bunker (as he was known) found surfing and would turn his back on the family fortune and return to Hawaii.It wasn’t till he was 21 when he inherited a cool 50 million dollars that he went on a ten year spree of women, drugs and surfing, living a life of spectacular excess that few have ever matched. The fact that the book of life was called Surfing’s Divine Prince of Decadence pretty much says it all.
The tale of Bunker Spreckels (1949–1977) reads like a pitch for a movie to rival Boogie Nights: the stepson of Clark Gable is a privileged Los Angeles party boy who is heir to a multimillion–dollar fortune; passionate about surfing, martial arts, guns, and women, he lives the life of a debauched international jet-setter before succumbing to his excesses at the tender age of 27.