Whitney Tower

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Whitney Tower
Born June 30, 1923
New York United States
Died February 11, 1999
Saratoga Springs, New YorkUnited States
Occupation Horse racing media
President of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
Spouse(s) Frances Cheston Train
Joan Baker Spear
Lucy Niblack Lyle
Children Alexandra Tower Hornblower Thorne[1]
Whitney Tower Jr.
Frances Tower-Thacher
Harry Payne Tower
Aurora Tower
Alfred Tower
Parents Roderick Tower
Flora Payne Whitney

Whitney Tower (June 30, 1923 - February 11, 1999) was an American journalist reporting on Thoroughbred horse racing and a president of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Early life[edit]

His father was oil broker, Roderick Tower and his mother was Flora Payne Whitney- a child of the Vanderbilt-Whitney marriage. Whitney Tower's parents divorced and when he was four, his mother remarried to MacCulloch Miller. Tower graduated from St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island, and Harvard University.

Career[edit]

From 1948 to 1954, Tower worked as a sports reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer. He then joined the fledgling Sports Illustrated magazine where he served as horse racing editor for twenty-two years during which time he received the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's magazine writing award.

Personal life[edit]

Whitney Tower and his first wife, Frances Cheston Train, had four children: Alexandra Tower Hornblower Thorne,[1] Whitney Tower Jr., Frances Tower-Thacher, and Harry Payne Tower.[2] His grandson, Josiah Cheston Hornblower,[3] through daughter, Alexandra Tower Hornblower Thorne, was featured in the documentary, Born Rich.

In 1968, Tower married Joan Baker Spear, the former wife of [Life] photographer Eliot Elisofon. Tower spent time writing articles in Aiken, South Carolina, home to the Aiken Steeplechase Association and famous for the flat racing and steeplechase Thoroughbred horses that trained at The Aiken Training Track. He and his wife decided to make Aiken their home and moved into a mansion built at the beginning of the 20th century by great-grandfather William Collins Whitney. While living there, the couple became instrumental in the creation of the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum.

In 1976 Whitney Tower, along with E. Barry Ryan, founded Classic magazine, a publication dedicated to Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing as well as show jumping events. The magazine reported on horse racing matters not only from North America but from around the world as well and won Media Eclipse Awards in 1976-77. Following the magazine's closure, Tower joined the National Museum of Racing in Saratoga Springs, New York, serving as its president from 1982 to 1989 and for ten years was chairman of the Museum's Hall of Fame committee.

Whitney Tower was a resident of Saratoga Springs where he died in 1999 of complications from a stroke. He was survived by his third wife, Lucy Niblack Lyle, and six children. Unfortunately, this meant that he never met his grandson, Harry Tower Jr who was born in the year 2000.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Alix Hornblower Becomes a Bride". New York Times. February 4, 1990. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  2. ^ Durso, Joseph (February 12, 1999). "Whitney Tower, 75, Writer And Leader in Horse Racing". New York Times. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Jocelyn Hunter, Josiah Hornblower". New York Times. September 9, 2007. Retrieved July 25, 2012.