Babe Paley Bio, Age, Death, Funeral, Children, Fashion, Apartment, Jewelry and Books


Babe Paley Biography

Babe Paley better known as Babs or Babe was born on July 5, 1915. She is the youngest of three daughters of Dr. and Mrs. Harvey J. She worked as a fashion editor at Vogue Magazine for almost two years before her marriage in September 1940 to Stanley G. Mortimer Jr. of New York

Paley was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Katharine Stone and brain surgeon Dr. Harvey Cushing, who was a professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins, Harvard and Yale universities. She grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts. Her older sisters both married into money and prestige, Minnie Cushing was the second wife of Vincent Astor, and Betsey Cushing married James Roosevelt, the son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and then later John Hay Whitney. Together, they were known as the “fabulous Cushing sisters.”

She attended the Winsor School in Boston and the Westover School in Middlebury, Conn., and was presented to society in Boston in 1934. Three of President Roosevelt’s sons Franklin Jr., James and John were among the ushers at the debut. James Roosevelt was at the time married to her sister, Betsy, now Mrs. John Hay Whitney.

In 1938, Paley began working as a fashion editor for Vogue in New York City. Her position at Vogue gave her access to designer clothes, often given in exchange for Paley’s high profile and glamorous image. In 1941, Time magazine voted her the world’s second best-dressed woman after Wallis Simpson and before Aimée de Heeren. She was also named to the best-dressed list in 1945 and 1946.

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 to decorate. She and Paley lived there during the week, while weekends were spent at Kiluna Farm, on 80 acres (32 ha) in Manhasset, Long Island, where a succession of landscape architects and garden designers beautified the grounds. The more distant retreat, Kiluna North, on Squam Lake in New Hampshire, was purchased in 1957; there they entertained celebrities who welcomed the privacy.

Though the antisemitic prejudices of society excluded the Paleys from a number of important social functions and exclusive clubs, the Paleys 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” 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.”

Her personal, unconventional style was enormously influential. A photograph of Paley with a scarf tied to her handbag, for example, created a trendy tidal wave that millions of women emulated. She often mixed extravagant jewelry by Fulco di Verdura and Jean Schlumberger with inexpensive costume pieces and embraced letting her hair go gray instead of camouflaging it with dye.

Babe Paley Age

She died at the age of 63years in the year  1978.

Babe Paley Death | Babe Paley Funeral

Babe was quite a heavy smoker. In the year 1974, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Paley died of lung cancer on July 6, 1978, the day after her 63rd birthday. She was buried in the Memorial Cemetery of St. John’s Church, Cold Spring Harbor, New York. On his death in 1990, Bill Paley was buried next to her.

Before died she had planned her own funeral concerning the type of food to be served and wine selections that would be served at the funeral. Paley is survived by her husband; their son, William Cushing Paley, and daughter, Kate Cushing Paley; her son and daughter by her first marriage, Stanley G. Mortimer 3d and Amanda Mortimer Burden, the former wife of City Councilman Carter Burden; her sisters, Betsy (Mrs. John Hay Whitney) and Mary (formerly Mrs. Vincent Astor, now Mrs. James Fosburgh) and a brother, Henry K. Cushing.

Babe Paley Children

She had three children, two daughters, and one son. Amanda Burden( Daughter), Kate Paley(Daughter) and Stanley Grafton Mortimer III (son)

Babe Paley Books

  • The Swans of Fifth Avenue: A Novel
  • The Sisters: Babe Mortimer Paley

Babe Paley Jewelry

I have been reading The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin, so I have had Babe Paley on my mind quite a bit the past few months. In my online research for books or articles about her, I came across a Town & Country article called “Babe & I” by Carol Prisant in the December 2010 issue.

Ms. Prisant worked as an au pair for the Paley family one summer and her essay included her observations about Babe, William S. Paley, and of course, Truman Capote. I really loved this passage about a tenth anniversary present Babe received from her husband, which I thought I’d share.

What a great description of an unusual way to wear a rivière necklace! I found a few photos of it online but couldn’t find a picture of Babe wearing it. I did come across this photo of her wearing big pearls and fur, which I just love. I read that the diamond necklace was made by Harry Winston and consisted of nineteen old-mine cut diamonds, with a smaller diamond between each, set in 18K gold. It came to auction at Christie’s in December 2010. It is divine!

Babe Paley Fashion

She was a vogue fashion editor and a socialite and the most famous of Truman Capote’s “Swans”, and has cemented her place in fashion. She was a woman with a style whose taste also extended to decorating and creating gardens

Babe Paley Apartment in Southampton

Babe and Bill Paley’s Epic Southampton Estate Is on the Market. “Four Fountains” was a clubby getaway where the Paleys hosted luminaries like Truman Capote. “Four Fountains,” a seven-acre property in Southampton, New York, was born as an Art Deco theater in 1928.

Babe Paley Obituary

Barbara Cushing Paley, the wife of William S. Paley, the chairman of the board of the Columbia Broadcasting System, died of cancer at their apartment in New York City yesterday after a long illness. She was 63 years old.

Mrs. Paley’s sense of elegance set a standard for style‐conscious women for three decades. Her approval lent an immediate cachet to almost anything in the world of fashion, beauty, and decor, and her appearance at a public event was signal for the kind of attention accorded such women as the Duchess of Windsor and Jacqueline Onassis.

One of the world’s great beauties, whose meticulous grooming and attention to detail was a source of both admiration and envy among her peers, Mrs. Paley was a perennial on the list of the world’s best‐dressed women. She was first named in 1941 and subsequently appeared 14 times, 13 in the top position. She was named to fashion’s Hall of Fame in 1958.

Mrs. Paley, a gracious woman with a ready and warm smile, achieved her greatest recognition in the 1960s before fashion became widely influenced by youth and a more‐casual “anything goes” approach.

Symbol of Taste

In that decade, she was to many the ultimate symbol of taste and perfectionist chic, the inspiration for mannequins that lineal the windows of Lord & Taylor and for countless sketches, photographs and articles in magazines and newspapers throughout the country. Her appearance in pants gave them a stamp of acceptability; when her hair became threaded with gray, she made no attempt to hide it, and scores of silver‐toned heads began to emerge from hiding.