Helen Hay Whitney
|Helen Hay Whitney|
Helen Hay Whitney photographed by Frances Benjamin Johnston
|Born||Helen Julia Hay
March 11, 1875
|Died||September 24, 1944
New York City, United States
|Residence||New York City and Manhasset|
|Occupation||Poet, author, racehorse owner/breeder, philanthropist|
|Political party||Republican Party|
(m. 1902; his death 1927)
|Children||Joan Whitney Payson
John Hay Whitney
|Parent(s)||John Milton Hay
Clara Louise Stone
|Relatives||Flora Stone Mather (aunt)|
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.
She was the daughter of John Milton Hay (1838–1905), who served as United States Secretary of State and the United States Ambassador to Great Britain, and Clara Louise Stone (1849-1914). Her maternal grandfather was Cleveland multimillionaire railroad and banking mogul Amasa Stone (1818–1883).
Helen Hay was a poet and an author of books for children. A number of her poems were published in Harper's Magazine. One of her poems, Love of the Rose, was used in Leon Ardin's opera, Antony and Cleopatra (Act 2, no. 15). Herbs And Apples (1910) 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.
After her husband's death in 1927, she managed Greentree, and Greentree Stable, and it continued to be a major force in Thoroughbred flat and steeplechase horse racing. 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.
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. 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.
In 1902, she married Payne Whitney, the son of William Collins Whitney (1841–1904) and Flora Payne (1842–1893), and the brother of Harry Payne Whitney (1872–1930), Pauline Payne Whitney (1874–1916), and Dorothy Payne Whitney (1887–1968). Together, Helen and Payne had a daughter and a son:
- Joan Whitney (1903–1975), who was the first owner of the New York Mets Major League Baseball team.
- John Hay Whitney (1904–1982), who served as the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
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.
- 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.
- Gale, p. 125.
- "MRS. PAYNE WHITNEY DIES IN HOSPITAL, 68 | As Head of Greentree Stable Was Leading Woman Owner of the American Turf | WON DERBY IN 1931, 1942 | Former Helen Hay, Daughter Ex-Secretary of State - Husband Left $178,000,000". The New York Times. 25 September 1944. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- Kushner & Sherrill, pp. 67–68.
- "Antony and Cleopatra - Leon Ardin 1919".
- "Herbs And Apples - by Helen Hay Whitney".
- "PAYNE WHITNEY'S WILL AWAITS SON'S ARRIVAL; It Will Probably Be Read Next Saturday After Heir Returns From England.". The New York Times. 29 May 1927. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- "MR. WHITNEY'S WILL.". The New York Times. 8 June 1927. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- "The Whitney Handicap: a look at a treasured American family".
- "Home Page - The Helen Hay Whitney Foundation".
- Times, Special To The New York (5 February 1902). "THE WHITNEY-HAY WEDDING.". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- "Dorothy Elmhirst, a Founder of New Republic, Dies". The New York Times. December 16, 1968. Retrieved December 12, 2008.
London, Dec. 15—Mrs. Dorothy Payne Whitney Straight Elmhirst, philanthropist, pioneer in progressive education and suffragist, died last night at Dartington Hall near ...
- Durso, Joseph (5 October 1975). "Joan Whitney Payson, 72, Mets Owner, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- "JOHN HAY WHITNEY DIES AT 77; PUBLISHER LED IN MANY FIELDS". The New York Times. 9 February 1982. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- "Payne Whitney's Son Arrives.". The New York Times. 4 June 1927. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- Photo, Special To The New York Times times Wide World (26 September 1930). "MARY ALTEMUS WED TO J. HAY WHITNEY; Philadelphia Girl Has Large Bridal Party at Marriage to New Yorker. SPECIAL TRAIN FOR COUPLE They Leave for Washington--Presents Received From Friends inMany Countries. Bride's Gown of Silver Cloth. Robert C. Benchley Best Man. Famous Manuscripts as Gifts. Bride a Horsewoman.". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- "Mrs. Cushing Roosevelt Becomes Bride Here of John Hay Whitney; Former Wife of President's Eldest Son Wed to Wealthy Sportsman and Financier in a Simple Home Ceremony.". The New York Times. 2 March 1942. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- "PAYNE WHITNEY DIES SUDDENLY AT HOME | Financier, 51, Stricken With Indigestion in Tennis Game at Manhasset, L.I. | WIFE SPEEDS TO HIM IN VAIN | He Succumbs in 25 Minutes - Wealth Put at $100,000,000 -- Noted as Sportsman.". The New York Times. 26 May 1927. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- "FindArticles.com - CBSi".
- Gale, Robert L. (1978). John Hay. Twayne's American Authors. Boston: Twayne Publishers. ISBN 0-8057-7199-9.
- Kushner, Howard I.; Sherrill, Anne Hummel (1977). John Milton Hay: The Union of Poetry and Politics. Twayne's World Leaders. Boston: Twayne Publishers. ISBN 0-8057-7719-9.
- Taliaferro, John (2013). All the Great Prizes: The Life of John Hay, from Lincoln to Roosevelt (Kindle ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4165-9741-4.
Media related to Helen Hay Whitney at Wikimedia Commons
- Works by Helen Hay Whitney at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Helen Hay Whitney at Internet Archive
- Works by Helen Hay Whitney at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Profile of Payne and Helen Whitney and details of their home, with photographs, at 972 Fifth Avenue in New York City
- Whitney, Helen Hay. Herbs And Apples (1910), John Lane Company