Babe Paley bigraphy, stories - Editor, socialite

Babe Paley : biography

July 5, 1915 - July 6, 1978

Barbara "Babe" Cushing Mortimer Paley (July 5, 1915 – July 6, 1978) was an American socialite and style icon. She was known by the popular nickname "Babe" for most of her life. She was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1958.

Personal life

Marriages and children

While working at Vogue, she met and married oil heir Stanley Grafton Mortimer, Jr., in 1940. Though her mother preferred that she marry a powerful man with a title, she generally approved of the union. She and Mortimer had two children: Amanda Jay Mortimer (later Burden) and Stanley Grafton Mortimer III. Their marriage ended by 1946. Several retrospectives have claimed that Babe neglected her children while in pursuit of social status and depended upon the wealth of her husbands to support her lavish lifestyle. Her daughter Amanda has admitted that their relationship was "virtually nonexistent" and that the distance "was her choice, not mine".

After her divorce from Mortimer, she received a settlement based on a trust fund. She then set out to make a second high-profile marriage. In 1946, she met William S. Paley, the founder of CBS. Paley was phenomenally wealthy, with an interest in the arts and a desire to be a part of New York's café society. With Babe's social connections, beauty, and style, Paley stood a greater chance of being granted entrée into a society which, until that time, had effectively shut him out. For Babe, Paley offered wealth, security, and worldliness. Barbara "Babe" Cushing Mortimer and William S. Paley married in 1947 and the couple had two additional children, Kate and Bill Jr.

By many biographers' accounts, Paley was lonely and frustrated as William Paley carried on a chain of extramarital affairs. This psychological battering took its toll on her and her family. She was constantly under the scrutiny of society and the media, who pressed her to maintain the unrealistic image of a social and fashion goddess. These external pressures, as well as a two-pack-a-day cigarette habit, finally affected her health.

Style

Paley set about to cultivate and create a picture-perfect social world. The couple took an elegant apartment at the St. Regis and hired noted interior designer Billy Baldwin (1903–1983) to decorate. She and Paley lived there during the week, while weekends were spent at Kiluna Farm, on in Manhasset, Long Island, where a succession of landscape architects and garden designers beautified the grounds.They included Alice Recknagel Ireys, Russell Page, Thomas D. Church and the connoisseur and collector Henry Francis du Pont: Valentine Lawford, "The Gardens of Mrs. William S. Paley: Landscape Architecture by Russell Page", Architectural Record The more distant retreat, Kiluna North, on Squam Lake in New Hampshire, was purchased in 1957; there they entertained celebrities who welcomed the privacy;In 1970 the house was given to Dartmouth College and serves as . Squam Lake's woodlands provided settings for the film On Golden Pond (1981).

Though the antisemitic prejudices of society excluded the Paleys from a number of important social functions and exclusive clubs, Babe nevertheless kept a circle of high-society friends that included author Truman Capote and fellow socialite/style icon Slim Keith. Capote included Paley and Keith in his group of "swans" (glamorous New York socialite women) along with Gloria Guinness, Marella Agnelli, and C.Z. Guest. Paley famously dropped Capote as a friend when excerpts of his much-touted work in progress, Answered Prayers, revealed the gossipy confidences of many of New York's elite.

In addition to lavish entertaining, Paley maintained her position on the best-dressed list fourteen times before being inducted into the Fashion Hall of Fame in 1958. She regularly bought entire haute couture collections from major fashion houses like Givenchy and Valentino SpA. Her personal style was inspirational to thousands of women who tried to copy her, but as Bill Blass once observed, "I never saw her not grab anyone's attention, the hair, the makeup, the crispness. You were never conscious of what she was wearing; you noticed Babe and nothing else."

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine