An upcoming book about Sammy Davis Jr. describes the late singer's battles to pay off millions of dollars in debt to the Internal Revenue Service.
Deconstructing Sammy: Music, Money, Madness and the Mob, by Matt Birkbeck, discusses how Davis owed $15 million to the IRS at the time of his death in 1990 after he invested his money in phony tax shelters. The biography claims that Davis' tax debts contributed to his decision to forego surgery on his throat cancer. Instead, he opted for radiation therapy, which had a 30 percent survival rate. Davis was concerned the throat operation could cut short his career and prevent him from paying back the tax debt.
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