Long Live The Emperor: The Weird Tale Of San Francisco’s Most Beloved Eccentric | KALW

Long Live The Emperor: The Weird Tale Of San Francisco’s Most Beloved Eccentric

Feb 20, 2020

Once upon a time in Gold Rush-era San Francisco a businessman amassed a fortune, then lost it all and went insane. His next move? He declared himself Emperor of the United States. 

But here’s where the story gets stranger than fiction: almost everyone in San Francisco went along with it in what probably amounted to the greatest city-wide inside joke of all time. Just like that, Emperor Norton was born. In this original documentary, "Long Live the Emperor: The Weird Tale of San Francisco’s Most Beloved Eccentric" we learn about one of San Francisco’s most iconic oddballs and meet some of the strange and quirky people who carry on his legacy today.

Click the play button above to listen to the full story.

The annual Widow Norton Pilgrimage to Emperor Norton’s grave in Woodlawn Cemetary in Colma is on Sunday, February 23, 2020.

Special thanks to Billy Clift for providing audio from a procession to Emperor Norton’s grave.