Tragic deaths generally aren't good for business, with the notable exception of Veuve Clicquot. It was 1805, and Francois Clicquot, the owner of a failing vineyard in Reims, France, was felled by typhoid. His wife, Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, had hailed from a wealthy family and easily could have shuttered the business. Instead, she invested her own inheritance in it and took over. She was 27.