Mary Pinchot Meyer bigraphy, stories - Socialite, painter

Mary Pinchot Meyer : biography

October 14, 1920 - October 12, 1964

Mary Eno Pinchot Meyer (October 14, 1920 – October 12, 1964) was an American socialite, painter, former wife of Central Intelligence Agency official Cord Meyer and intimate friend of United States president John F. Kennedy, who was often noted for her desirable physique and social skills. Meyer's murder, two days before her 44th birthday, in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., during the fall of 1964 would later stir speculation relating to Kennedy's presidency and assassination.mcadams.posc.mu.edu, , retrieved 1 March 2008 In her 1998 biography, Nina Burleigh wrote, "Mary Meyer was an enigmatic woman in life, and in death her real personality lurks just out of view."Burleigh, Nina, (NYT excerpt), Bantam, 1998, retrieved 1 March 2008

Marriage

Pinchot met Cord Meyer in 1944 when he was a Marine Corps lieutenant who had lost his left eye because of shrapnel injuries received in combat. The two had similar pacifist views and beliefs in world government and married on April 19, 1945. That spring they both attended the UN Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, during which the United Nations was founded, Cord as an aide of Harold Stassen and Pinchot as a reporter for a newspaper syndication service. She later worked for a time as an editor for Atlantic Monthly. Their eldest child Quentin was born in late 1945, followed by Michael in 1947, after which Pinchot became a homemaker, although she attended classes at the Art Students League of New York.

Cord Meyer became president of the United World Federalists in May 1947 and its membership doubled. Albert Einstein was an enthusiastic supporter and fundraiser. Mary Meyer wrote for the organization's journal. In 1950, their third child, Mark was born and they moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Meanwhile her husband began to re-evaluate his notions of world government as members of the Communist Party USA infiltrated the international organizations he had founded. It is unknown when he first began secretly working with the Central Intelligence Agency, but in 1951 Allen Dulles approached Cord Meyer; he became an employee of the CIA and was soon a "principal operative" of Operation Mockingbird, a covert operation meant to sway American print and broadcast media toward the CIA line. Mary may also have done some work for the CIA during this time but her tendency towards spur-of-the-moment love affairs reportedly made the agency wary of her.

With her husband's CIA appointment they moved to Washington D.C. and became highly visible members of Georgetown society. Their acquaintances included Joseph Alsop, Katharine Graham, Clark Clifford and Washington Post reporter James Truitt along with his wife, noted artist Anne Truitt. Their social circle also included CIA-affiliated people such as Richard M. Bissell, Jr., high ranking counter-intelligence official James Angleton and Mary and Frank Wisner, Meyer's boss at CIA. In 1953 Senator Joseph McCarthy publicly accused Cord Meyer of being a communist and the Federal Bureau of Investigation was reported to have looked into Mary's political past. Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner aggressively defended Meyer and he remained with the CIA. However, by early 1954 Pinchot Meyer's husband became unhappy with his CIA career. He used contacts from his covert operations in Operation Mockingbird to approach several New York publishers for a job but was rebuffed. During the summer of 1954 John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie Kennedy bought a house near that of the Meyers'; Pinchot Meyer and Jackie Kennedy became friends and "they went on walks together." By the end of 1954, Cord Meyer was still with the CIA and often in Europe, running Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty and managing millions of dollars of U.S. government funds worldwide to support progressive-seeming foundations and organizations opposing the Soviet Union.

One of Pinchot Meyer's close friends and classmates from Vassar was Cicely d'Autremont, who married James Angleton. In 1955 Meyer's sister Antoinette (Tony) married Ben Bradlee of The Washington Post. On December 18, 1956 the Meyers' middle son Michael was hit by a car near their house and killed at the age of nine. Although this tragedy brought Pinchot Meyer and Cord Meyer closer together for a time, Mary filed for divorce in 1958.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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