Anne Morgan (philanthropist)

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For other people of the same name, see Anne Morgan (disambiguation).
Anne Morgan
Anne Tracy Morgan.jpg
Born Anne Tracy Morgan
(1873-07-25)July 25, 1873
Manhattan
Died January 29, 1952(1952-01-29) (aged 78)
Mount Kisco, New York
Nationality American
Occupation Philanthropist
Parents John Pierpont Morgan
Frances Louisa Tracy
Relatives J. P. Morgan, Jr., brother

Anne Tracy Morgan (July 25, 1873 – January 29, 1952) was an American philanthropist who provided relief efforts in aid to France during and after World War I and World War II.[1] Morgan was educated privately, traveled frequently and grew up amongst the wealth her father had amassed. She was awarded a medal from the National Institute of Social Science in 1915, the same year she published the story The American Girl. In 1932 she became the first American woman appointed a commander of the French Legion of Honor.

Biography[edit]

She was born on July 25, 1873 to John Pierpont Morgan and Frances Louisa Tracy.

In 1903 she became part owner of the Villa Trianon near Versailles, France, along with decorator and socialite Elsie De Wolfe and theatrical/literary agent Elisabeth Marbury. Morgan was instrumental in assisting De Wolfe, her close friend, in pioneering a career in interior decoration. The three women, known as "The Versailles Triumvirate," hosted a salon in France and, in 1903, along with Ann Vanderbilt, helped organize the Colony Club, the first women's social club in New York City and, later, helped found the exclusive neighborhood of Sutton Place along Manhattan's East River.

C. 1910 she became a union activist. [1]

In 1912 she started the Society for the Prevention of Useless Gift Giving (SPUG) with Eleanor Robson Belmont.[2]

Morgan about 1909

In 1916, Morgan and De Wolfe largely funded Cole Porter's first Broadway musical, See America First, produced by Marbury.[3]

From 1917 to 1921 Morgan took residence near the French front, not far from both Soissons and the "Chemin des Dames" at Blérancourt, and ran a formidable help organisation, The American Friends of France (it employed several hundred people at a time, volunteers from abroad and locally recruited staff), financed partly out of her own deep pockets, partly with the help of an active network in the States.[4] The AFF was active in succoring noncombatants, organizing a health service that still exists in Soissons, a workshop to provide basic furniture to bombed-out families, a holiday camp for children, and a mobile library that was taken over by the library in Soissons, and so on. She returned in 1939 to help the Soissons evacuees.

Morgan's friendships included many socialites and celebrities of her day. Her connection to individuals such as Cole Porter, as mentioned above, allowed her to compile a cookbook for charity. Titled the Spécialités de la Maison and published in 1940 to benefit the AFF, it offered recipes by cultural icons such as Pearl S. Buck, Salvador Dalí, and Katharine Hepburn.[5]

She died on January 29, 1952 in Mount Kisco, New York.[1]

Legacy[edit]

A four-story townhouse built in the Sutton Place neighborhood of Manhattan's Upper East Side in New York City for Anne Morgan in 1921 was donated as a gift to the United Nations in 1972. It is now the official residence of the United Nations Secretary-General.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Anne Morgan Dies In Mt. Kisko. Daughter of Late J. P. Morgan Was Known for Her Work in Reform and Philanthropy". New York Times. January 30, 1952. Retrieved May 30, 2011. Long A Friend of France. Helped Needy There for More Than 30 Years. Leader in American Women's Group. Miss Anne Morgan, daughter of the late J. Pierpont ... 
  2. ^ "Society for the Prevention of Useless Giving Issues Its Second Call to Arms. Mrs. Belmont and Miss Anne Morgan Plan a Big Rally in Metropolitan Life Building". New York Times. November 3, 1913. Retrieved December 16, 2012. This society, formed as a vigorous protest against the growing custom of exchanging gifts at Christmas without sentiment, the custom of making Christmas gifts for the sake of expediency, or under any other form of compulsion, was organized last year, and carried on an effective and spectacular campaign in the closing weeks of the Christmas shopping season. 
  3. ^ Schwartz, Charles, Cole Porter: A Biography. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press 1979. ISBN 0-306-80097-7, pp. 41-43
  4. ^ "Anne Morgan Feature". Life Magazine. February 11, 1952. pp. 28–29. Retrieved March 1, 2010. 
  5. ^ American Friends of France, et. al (1940). Spécialités de la Maison. New York: American Friends of France. 
  6. ^ Kathleen Teltsch (July 15, 1972). "Town House Offered to U. N.". New York Times. Retrieved December 22, 2012. A five-story Sutton Place town house built more than 50 years ago for the daughter of J. Pierpont Morgan, the financier, has been offered by the owner to the United Nations as a residence for the Secretary General. 

Sources[edit]