Helen Hay Whitney

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Helen Hay Whitney
Helen Hay Whitney by Frances Benjamin Johnston.jpg
Helen Hay Whitney photographed by Frances Benjamin Johnston
Born Helen Julia Hay
(1875-03-11)March 11, 1875[1]
United States
Died September 24, 1944(1944-09-24) (aged 69)
New York City, United States
Residence New York City and Manhasset
Occupation Poet, author, racehorse owner/breeder, philanthropist
Political party
Republican Party
Religion Episcopalian
Spouse(s) Payne Whitney
Children Joan (1903–1975)
John Hay (1904–1982)
Parents John Milton Hay &
Clara Louise Stone

Helen Julia Hay Whitney (March 11, 1875 – September 24, 1944) was an American poet, writer, racehorse owner/breeder, socialite, and philanthropist. She was a member by marriage of the prominent Whitney family of New York.

Biography[edit]

She was the daughter of Clara Louise Stone, and her husband, John Milton Hay, who served as the United States Ambassador to Great Britain and United States Secretary of State.

Helen Hay was a poet and an author of books for children. A number of her poems were published in Harper's Magazine. [1] A poem of hers, 'Love of the Rose' was used in Leon Ardin's opera, Antony and Cleopatra (Act 2, no. 15). [2] Herbs And Apples (1910) [3] is a collection of poems that she published using what she had given for The Metropolitan Magazine, and Collier's Weekly. "Songs and Sonnets," "Gypsy Verses" are also some of her works produced in such a manner. Several of her works have been republished in the 21st century.

In 1902 she married Payne Whitney with whom she had a daughter, Joan, and a son, John. The couple built a home at 972 Fifth Avenue in New York City designed by Stanford White. Helen Hay Whitney lived there until her death in 1944. The government of France acquired the property in 1952 and is part of the French Embassy in the United States. The Whitneys also owned a 438-acre (1.77 km2) estate in Manhasset, New York they called Greentree and Greentree Stable. After her husbands death in 1927, she managed Greentree Stable and it continued to be a major force in Thoroughbred flat and steeplechase horse racing. [4] Her horses won the American Grand National steeplechase in 1926, 1927, 1928, and 1937. In flat racing, her horses won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes in 1931 and 1942.

Philanthropy[edit]

The beneficiary of a large fortune on the death of her husband, Helen Whitney provided substantial funding to various causes and institutions including the Payne Whitney Gymnasium at Yale University. [5] In 1943, an ailing Helen Whitney and her daughter Joan created the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation which supports early postdoctoral research training in all basic biomedical sciences. [6]. Helen Whitney died in 1944 and as part of her bequests left the Metropolitan Museum of Art twenty-four objects consisting of paintings, ceramics, textiles, and furniture. [7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Taliaferro (27 May 2014). All the Great Prizes: The Life of John Hay, from Lincoln to Roosevelt. Simon and Schuster. pp. 166–. ISBN 978-1-4165-9734-6.