National Geographic : 1983 Jun
word in the English language," says Arthur M. "Smiley" Ratliff. Mine operator and real estate entrepreneur, Ratliff sits in front of his Rolls-Royce-he has owned as many as five at one time-and the mansion on his 20,000-acre estate near Tazewell, Virginia. "I've never had a vacation or a drop of alcohol," says Ratliff. "God didn't create us to play golf. He created us to conquer the planet. He created us for victory!" At 57, the victorious multimillionaire looks for a new world to conquer uninhabited Henderson Island in the South Pacific, a dependent territory of Great Britain. Ratliff first tried to buy Henderson, then offered the 50 residents of nearby Pitcairn Island $800,000 to build an airstrip and improve their life styles. In return, he wants permission to live on Henderson. The British are considering his proposal. "This is my grand finale," says Ratliff, undaunted by Henderson's cliffs. "Me and my boys will doze a road up those cliffs in 30 minutes. "I've mined all the coal, built all the buildings, fought all the battles. Now I'd like to go down hearin' the bugles blow. Hell, I don't want to end up feedin' the cats or goin' to picture shows." WINNER in last year's race for the presidency of the United Mine Workers of America, Richard L. Trumka (left, at right) greets a miner in Mullens, West Virginia, during his campaign. A third-generation miner and a lawyer, Trumka, 33, is the young est president of a major American labor union.