NEW YORK -- Huguette Clark, a 104-year-old heiress to a Montana copper fortune who once lived in the largest apartment on New York City's Fifth Avenue, died Tuesday at a Manhattan hospital, but prosecutors are still pursuing a legal battle over her money and care.
Her father was William A. Clark, a U.S. senator from Montana, who founded the Salt Lake, Los Angeles and San Pedro Railroad that once served Las Vegas, and organized the 1905 land auction that generally is considered as the beginning of the city of Las Vegas, which now is in Clark County.
The reclusive Huguette Clark spent the last two decades of her life in New York City hospitals.
"Madame Clark's passing is a sad event for all those who have loved and respected her over the years," her attorney, Wallace Bock, said in a statement released by his attorney, Robert J. Anello. "She died as she wanted, with dignity and privacy, and we intend to continue to respect her request for privacy."
The Manhattan district attorney's office has been looking into how her affairs were managed, people familiar with the probe have said. Bock and Clark's accountant, Irving Kamsler, were in charge of a fortune estimated at a half-billion dollars.
No criminal charges have been filed against either Bock or Kamsler. Both have denied any wrongdoing in their dealings with Clark; their lawyers declined to comment Tuesday on the investigation.
Distant relatives said they never saw her, and feared she may not have understood decisions the two men made for her.
Clark inherited the riches amassed by her father in Montana's mining industry. William A. Clark was one of America's wealthiest men and built railroads across the country .
Huguette Clark was born in 1906, when her 67-year-old father was a U.S. senator and was married to a 28-year-old Michigan woman named Anna Eugenia La Chapelle. He died in 1925.
At 22, she married a poor bank clerk studying law, but they parted ways after only nine months.
As of last year, Clark still owned a 42-room, multifloor apartment at 907 Fifth Ave.; a Connecticut castle surrounded by 52 acres of land; and a Santa Barbara, Calif., mansion built on a 23-acre bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Beginning in the 1960s, after her mother died, Clark rarely left her Fifth Avenue home overlooking Central Park.
She moved into a hospital in the 1980s.
The Manhattan district attorney's office also prosecuted the case involving Brooke Astor, another heiress whose son was convicted of colluding with her attorney to steal millions of dollars from her.
In September, two of Clark's nieces and a nephew asked a Manhattan judge to appoint a guardian for her.
The relatives -- Ian Devine and Carla Hall Friedman of New York, and Karine Albert McCall of Washington, D.C. -- said Clark was "at risk of personal and financial harm" from Wallace and Bock.