Lillian Bostwick Phipps

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Lillian Phipps
Born Lillian Stokes Bostwick
(1906-07-09)July 9, 1906
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died November 27, 1987(1987-11-27)
Summerville, South Carolina, U.S.
Occupation Businesswoman:
Racehorse owner/breeder
Spouse(s) 1) Robert McKim
2) Ogden Phipps
Children Children with Robert McKim:
1) Mary Maude
2) Lillian
3) Florence

Children with Ogden Phipps:
4) Ogden Mills (b. 1940)
5) Cynthia (1945-2007)

Lillian Stokes Bostwick Phipps (July 9, 1906 – November 27, 1987) was an American socialite and owner of Thoroughbred steeplechase racehorses.


Born in New York, the daughter of Mary Stokes and Albert Carlton Bostwick (1876-1911), her wealthy grandfather, Jabez A. Bostwick, was one of John D. Rockefeller's founding partners in the Standard Oil Company.

Lillian Bostwick was raised in a Fifth Avenue mansion in New York City and as a young woman was listed in the 1930 New York Social Blue Book.[1] Her father was a horseman and polo player whose influence on her and brothers George Herbert Bostwick, Dunbar and Albert Jr. led to them becoming involved with the sport of horse racing. In 1942, her only sister, Dorothy (1899-2001), became the first American woman to hold a helicopter pilot's license.

In the 1930s, Lillian Bostwick and brothers Pete and Dunbar built and operated Bostwick Field in Old Westbury, New York where they hosted international polo matches. First married in 1928 at Church of the Transfiguration to Robert V. McKim of Aiken, South Carolina, the couple had three daughters, including the fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer. In November 1937 at St. Bartholomew's Church she wed Court tennis champion and Thoroughbred breeder/owner Ogden Phipps, a member of the prominent Phipps family and nephew of Ogden L. Mills, the former United States Secretary of the Treasury.

While her husband successfully invested in Thoroughbred horses for flat racing, Lillian Bostwick Phipps purchased and raced a number of steeplechase racers. She owned Neji and Oedipus, two very prominent horses that were voted American Steepchase Champions five times in all, and who were both inducted into the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame. Mrs. Phipps won the American Grand National eight times with Oedipus (1951), Neji (1955, 1957, 1958), Mako (1965), Top Bid (1973), Straight and True (1976), and Le Ronceray (1987).

A community benefactor, Lillian Bostwick Phipps served on the Board of Directors of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, the Metropolitan Opera Association, and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center of which she was also its Chairperson.

Lillian Bostwick Phipps and her husband maintained residences in New York City, Saratoga Springs, Florida and at Summerville, South Carolina where she died in 1987. Her interior design team of Robert Denning & Vincent Fourcade from the inception of their firm in 1960 had been involved with acquisitions and style in all of their fifteen[2] homes and she has been credited with playing a significant role in launching the team.[3]


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  2. ^ "Past Perfect in Paris–A Richly Detailed Apartment for a New York Designer" by Annette Tapert, Architectural Digest, October 1995, v. 52 #10, pp. 168-173
  3. ^ Phipps Sale at Sotheby's by Wendy Moonan 11 October 2002, New York Times