Annette de la Renta

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Annette de la Renta
Anne France Mannheimer

(1939-12-24) 24 December 1939 (age 81)
Nice, France
Other namesAnne France Engelhard
OccupationPhilanthropist, socialite
Samuel Pryor Reed
(m. 1960; div. 1986)

(m. 1989; died 2014)
Parent(s)Fritz Mannheimer
Jane Engelhard
RelativesCharles W. Engelhard Jr. (step-father)

Annette de la Renta (born 24 December 1939) is an American philanthropist and socialite, the widow of the Dominican fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. She was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1973.[1]

Birth and childhood[edit]

Born in Nice, France,[2] as Anne France Mannheimer and nicknamed Annette, she is the only child of a German Jewish banker, Fritz Mannheimer (1890–1939), who died before her birth, and his Roman Catholic wife, Mary Jane Reiss (1917-2004, aka Marie Annette Jane Reiss, aka Jane Engelhard). Her German-born maternal grandfather, Hugo Reiss, was a German Jewish businessman in Shanghai, China, where he served as the Brazilian consul;[3] and her maternal grandmother, Mary Ignatius Murphy, was a Roman Catholic of Irish descent from San Francisco.[2] In 1947, after her mother moved to the United States and remarried, Annette Mannheimer was adopted by her stepfather, Charles W. Engelhard Jr., an industrial magnate, and became Annette Engelhard; she became an American citizen in 1966. She was raised in the Roman Catholic faith of her mother.[2]

Marriages and family life[edit]

In 1960, she married private investor Samuel Pryor Reed (1934 - 2005) in a Roman Catholic ceremony in Bernardsville, New Jersey.[4][5] He was a vice president of Engelhard Industries, the minerals conglomerate; who later owned American Heritage magazine. Reed and Annette eventually divorced.[6][7] The couple had three children:[8]

  • Beatrice Anne Reed, who married:
    (1) Roger Albert Morrison (they had three children: Katherine, Charles, and Nicholas)
    (2) David Niven Jr., a son of the actor David Niven
    (3) David Phelps, a California real estate attorney
  • Eliza Reed, who married Alexander Lytton Bolen in Newark, New Jersey.[9] Bolen serves as CEO of Oscar de la Renta, L.L.C.[10] They have three children: Henry, Thomas, and Phillip.
  • Charles Reed, who married Natalie Wigotsky, a clinical psychologist. They have three children: Nicholas, William, and Charles Jr.

On 26 December 1989, she married fashion designer Oscar de la Renta in La Romana, Dominican Republic,[8] becoming step-mother of his adopted son, Moises de la Renta.[11][8]

On 26 July 2006, Annette de la Renta was appointed temporary guardian of the 104-year-old Brooke Astor, a long-time friend, in the wake of elder abuse allegations being made against Astor's son, Anthony Dryden Marshall.[citation needed] On 13 October 2006, de la Renta became permanent guardian.[citation needed] On 20 October 2014, her husband, Oscar de la Renta, died of cancer, at age 82.[12]


De la Renta serves on the boards of the Metropolitan Museum, the New York Public Library, the Morgan Library, the Animal Medical Center, and the Engelhard Foundation. She also served on the board of directors of Rockefeller University for 25 years, and now serves as a trustee emeritus.[13]


  1. ^ Profile,, September 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Michael Gross,Rogues' Gallery: The Secret Story of the Lust, Lies, Greed, and Betrayals That Made the Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 379, 385, 396
  4. ^ "Miss Anne Frances Englehard Becomes Bride of Samuel Pryor Reed in North", Palm Beach Daily News via, 22 March 1960.
  5. ^ Profile,; accessed 21 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Mrs. Reed Weds Oscar de la Renta". The New York Times. 28 December 1989. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  7. ^ Weigle, Lauren. "Annette Engelhard, Oscar de la Renta's Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  8. ^ a b c "Mrs. Reed Weds Oscar de la Renta". The New York Times. 28 December 1989. Retrieved 24 December 2008.
  9. ^ "WEDDINGS; Eliza Reed, Alexander Bolen",, 14 June 1998.
  10. ^ Norman Tan,Billionaire Magazine: "Oscar de la Renta: Hard Work and Good Fortune", 2 June 2014.
  11. ^ "Fashion Bio: Annette de la Renta". 16 August 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  12. ^ "Oscar de la Renta Has Died". Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Board of Trustees and Corporate Officers".