Anna Thompson Dodge

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Anna Thompson Dodge, circa 1910–1920

Anna Thompson Dodge (7 August 1866 – 2 June 1970) was one of the richest women in the world at the time of her death.[1]

Life and family[edit]

She was born on 7 August 1866 in Dundee, Scotland, as Anna Thompson.[2] Her parents were William Thompson and Elizabeth Stevens. In 1896, she married Horace Elgin Dodge, Sr., of Dodge Brothers Company. The couple had a son, Horace Elgin Dodge, Jr., and a daughter, Delphine Dodge.

After her husband died (only 11 months after his brother and Dodge-cofounder John Francis Dodge), she became a substantial owner of Dodge. She and John's widow Matilda sold the company in 1926 for US $146 million (equivalent to $2.07 billion in 2018)[3] to Dillon, Read & Co., which was the largest cash transaction in history at the time.

On 8 May 1926, she married actor Hugh Dillman, who had previously been married to Marjorie Rambeau.[4] She divorced Dillman in 1947.[5] Her English home was St Leonard's at Clewer, near Windsor, in Berkshire.

She gave the City of Detroit $1,000,000 towards the construction of a fountain in memory of her late husband and son. The Horace E. Dodge and Son Memorial Fountain was designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1978, and it is located near the center of Philip A. Hart Plaza.[6]

She died on 2 June 1970 at her home, Rose Terrace, in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, at the age of 103. She had been a wheelchair user for the previous seven years.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Mrs. Horace Dodge Dies at 103. Among World's Richest Women. Conflicts Over $100-Million Estate Predicted. Widow Survived 2 Children". The New York Times. 4 June 1970. Retrieved 2007-07-21. Mrs. Anna Thompson Dodge, widow of Horace E. Dodge, the automotive pioneer, and one of the richest women in the world, died last night at her home, Rose Terrace. She was 100 years old and had used a wheelchair for seven years.
  2. ^ Her obituary in The New York Times lists her age as 103. On 27 April 1921 and 16 January 1923 she applied for a passport and listed her date of birth as 7 August 1874. If she was born on 7 August 1874 she would have been 95 years, 9 months, and 26 days. However in the 1900 United States Census she listed her birth as August 1869, this would give her age as 100 years, 9 months, and 26 days. Generally the document closest to the event is the most accurate, when people are young there is less utility in making yourself appear younger.
  3. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  4. ^ "Mrs. H. E. Dodge and Actor Wed. Start On Trip". Chicago Tribune. 9 May 1926. Retrieved 2010-03-27. Against a huge bank of orchids and roses Mrs. Horace E. Dodge Sr., widow one of the founders of Dodge Bros., Inc., was married today to Hugh Dillman, son of a tailor of Columbus, OH., former actor and divorced husband of Marjorie Rambeau, actress.
  5. ^ "Mrs. Dillman Divorced; Widow of Dodge Founder". St. Petersburg Times. 23 May 1947. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
  6. ^ "Hart Plaza Landmarks". The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. Retrieved 10 September 2013.

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