How did Dan Cody acquire his wealth in The Great Gatsby?

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We learn that Dan Cody earned his wealth through various mining rushes in the Far West and Alaska—a silver rush in Nevada, a gold rush to the Yukon in Alaska, and a copper rush in Montana. These various adventures made Cody a millionaire. The copper mining in Montana, we are...

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We learn that Dan Cody earned his wealth through various mining rushes in the Far West and Alaska—a silver rush in Nevada, a gold rush to the Yukon in Alaska, and a copper rush in Montana. These various adventures made Cody a millionaire. The copper mining in Montana, we are told, made him "many times a millionaire."

By the time Gatsby meets him and is taken under his wing, Cody seems to have retired on his money and is sailing around to various parts of the world on his yacht. Gatsby is hired in some sort of vague capacity as Cody's assistant and accompanies him on his journeys.

Of course, this entire story is what Gatsby tells Nick about Cody. Nick implies it is true because Gatsby has been "broken up like glass against Tom’s hard malice," but we as readers don't know what Gatsby—or Nick—might have left out.

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in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dan Cody is Gatsby's first mentor and role model; in fact, Gatsby changes his name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby upon meeting Cody on Lake Superior. Cody was clearly a very wealthy man: he owned the Tuolomee, a yacht capable of going around the world. He was "many times a millionaire" (105). He made his money in ore, silver in Nevada and "every rush of metal since Seventy-Five" (105). At age fifty, Cody is in good physical shape but ripe for plucking by a gold-digging female. Gatsby is invited aboard the yacht to work for Cody, and as Gatsby protects Cody from his own worst impulses, Cody begins to trust him and leaves him twenty-five thousand dollars in his will. Gatsby never gets this money when Cody dies, but he does gain an education of sorts, in how to be or not be a wealthy man. 

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