04/14/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

5 Reasons Celebrity CEOs Crash And Burn

Now that Bernie Madoff will be trading in his jet-setting lifestyle for a more humble existence (with a big, mean, short tempered cellmate), I'm reminded of one of the oldest adages in public relations: Americans love to build people up to hero status, only to see them fall. Other than political figures and pop stars, no other group has been a bigger target of our love affair with the rollercoaster ride than CEOs. Rightfully given near deity-status in the early days of industrial America, the J.P. Morgans, Rockefellers, Carnegies and Vanderbilts of the world not only ran our country; they were also revered--and often despised--as larger than life personalities who could perform feats mere mortals could only dream of.

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