Anne Underwood

Stories by Anne Underwood

  • Do You, Tom, Take Harry. . .

    Ninia Baehr has concocted elaborate plans for the wedding of her dreams. Why not? She's 35 and "crazy in love." She will rent a fabulous estate outside Honolulu and string lights in the trees. The reception will be a traditional Hawaiian luau. Breaking tradition, Baehr will wear a slinky black evening gown dotted with sequins. ...
  • Caveat Investor On These Annuities

    YOU'VE HEARD THE SAYing, "All that glitters is not gold"? Well, variable annuities glitter. U.S. investors have already salted away more than $200 billion in these special mutual funds for one reason: earnings accrue tax-deferred. But the catch has always been that hefty fees can eat away at alluring returns. ...
  • Raising The Dimple Count

    When Wilson Sporting Goods decided to build a better golf ball, it turned to engineers from the aerospace industry -- to guys who'd lofted the Apache helicopter and stealth bomber. But for Wilson's Bob Thurman, inspiration came not from his work on the space shuttle, but from a detour to Disney's Epcot Center. At the Professional Golfers' Association's 1994 trade show in Orlando, Fla., Thurman caught a glimpse of Epcot's towering geodesic dome. In a flash, he saw not a dome, but a giant golf-ball dimple pattern. "It was one of those blue-sky things," he says of his epiphany. "You don't quite know where it came from." ...
  • From Moroni To Jibril, They're All Angels

    YOU DON'T HAVE TO be Christian to believe in angels. From the spirit guides of Native American religions to the wingless angels of Mormonism, many of the world's faiths have angels, or at least spirits who perform angellike functions. For the Mormons, it was the angel Moroni himself who traveled to upstate New York to guide Joseph Smith down the path to revelation. And what are the Zoroastrian Fravashis if not angels: guardian spirits that accompany a newborn soul to earth and remain to guide it through the shoals of life. ...
  • The King Of Cream Returns

    REUBEN MATTUS, THE 80-YEAR-OLD founder of Haagen-Dazs, sat before two unmarked and equally inviting bowls of vanilla ice cream-one Haagen-Dazs. the other a new low-fat variety from his family's test kitchen. His challenge: to identify the bowl of his ultrarich original. When he pointed to the low-fat vanilla instead, he knew he'd found his latest frozen asset. Now, a year later, the man who sold Haagen-Dazs to Pillsbury for $70 million is shaking up the industry again. This time he may actually have conjured up an ice cream that impresses diehard butterfat addicts but won't send them into coronary arrest. ...
  • A Marriage Made In Montvale

    Only months ago, Hillary Rodham Clinton portrayed drug makers as the villains of rising health-care costs. But even before the First Lady sharpened her scalpel, pharmaceutical companies were slashing prices to cut deals with companies like Medco Containment, the mail-order pharmacy whose clients include a slew of HMOs, insurance companies and state health plans. Last week Merck & Co. took the process a step further and agreed to purchase Montvale, N.J.-based Medco for $6 billion. If the merger is approved by federal regulators and Medco stockholders, it will link the country's leading drug maker with the top discount-drug merchant, known as "the Wal-Mart of pills." The deal could also trigger copycat mergers. That prospect sent investors scurrying for stocks of companies similar to Medco. "The key is to be part of a fullservice network," says Larry Feinberg of Oracle Investors. "Merck and Medco are jumping off the starting blocks while the rest have just begun warming up." ...
  • 'Daddy, Can I Have One?'

    When gift-industry mogul Russ Berrie celebrated his nuptials last month, he topped the cake with a pair of $15 baubles: bride-and-groom troll dolls. Dotting the reception tables at New York's posh Essex House were 160 more nine-inch gnomes with shocking pink and blue hair, one per guest. The extravagaza might have been a 6-year-olds fantasy, but Berrie's interest in trolls is no child's play. This year his company expects to sell $150 million worth of the humble creatures. "We've got a full-blown fad on our hands," says Sid Aronson, a spokesman for Russ Berrie and Co. "We've been airlifting trolls into the country since March to meet the demand." ...
  • The Mideast: 'Secret Files'

    It was a covenant: ever since 1948, one U.S. president after another has pledged devotion to Israel. But Washington has long hedged its bets behind the scenes. When George Bush spoke of defending "old friends" in the Persian Gulf War, he was actually fulfilling repeated promises to Saudi Arabia. These agreements-and the military plans to back them up-were mostly undertaken in secret, without public knowledge or congressional consent. A Washington Post-NEWSWEEK examination of documents in presidential archives, many of them originally classified as top secret-reveals a history of covert Mideast diplomacy. Forming the basis of a PBS program entitled "The Secret Files: Washington, Israel and the Gulf," scheduled to air Monday, Feb. 17, the documents show that: ...