Patricia Aldyen Austin Taylor
July 1, 1926
|Died||April 15, 2007 (aged 80)|
Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||William F. Buckley Jr.|
|Parent(s)||Austin Cotterell Taylor|
Patricia Aldyen Austin Taylor Buckley (July 1, 1926 – April 15, 2007) was a Canadian-American socialite, noted for her fundraising activities and her height, at just under six feet. She was the wife of conservative writer and activist William F. Buckley Jr. and the mother of writer Christopher Buckley, their only child.
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, to a wealthy family, Patricia Taylor had tutors and attended Crofton House School. She was one of the three children of Austin Cotterell Taylor, a self-made industrialist, rich from lumber and mining. Her mother, Kathleen Elliott, was a daughter of the chief of police of Winnipeg. Pat went to Vassar College in 1948 but left to marry William F. Buckley Jr., the older brother of her Vassar roommate, Patricia Lee Buckley. (Patricia Lee Buckley later married L. Brent Bozell Jr., and they were the parents of conservative activist L. Brent Bozell III.) William and Patricia Buckley had one child, writer Christopher Buckley.
Aside from their home in Stamford, Connecticut, the Buckleys also had a Park Avenue duplex in Manhattan and leased the Chateau de Rougemont, a former monastery, near Gstaad, Switzerland, for winters. Her dark sense of humour was manifested when economist John Kenneth Galbraith brought Ted Kennedy to visit the Buckleys at Rougemont one winter. Kennedy asked if he could borrow a car to go back to Gstaad. Pat replied, "Certainly not—there are three bridges between here and Gstaad."
In 1975, she was named to the International Best-Dressed Hall of Fame created by Eleanor Lambert. She served as chairwoman of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit from 1978 to 1995, making it a major event on the charity social circuit. Other focuses included the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the New York University Medical Center, as well as AIDS causes and Vietnam War veterans.
Patricia Taylor Buckley died in Stamford, Connecticut, aged 80, after a period of ill health. Her widower reported in National Review, following her death in April 2007, that her "infirmities dated back to a skiing accident in 1965. She went through four hip replacements over the years. She went into the hospital a fortnight ago, but there was no thought of any terminal problem. Yet following an infection, on the seventh day, she died, in the arms of her son."
Her son, Christopher Buckley, added "Sixty-five years of smoking cigarettes, with attendant problems of circulation, had taken their toll. A few days before, an operation to install a stent [into her leg] ... went wrong, and a mortal infection set in."
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