Patricia Montandon

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Patricia "Pat" Montandon (b. December 26, 1928) is an American author, California socialite, and humanitarian.

Background and Family[edit]

The daughter of an itinerant Texas minister, Montandon grew up in Oklahoma. She moved to San Francisco in 1960, where she hosted a TV show and became a newspaper columnist for the San Francisco Examiner. After a summer of managing a Joseph Magnin clothing store, she became a darling of the society columns.

After a string of failed marriages, including one to flamboyant attorney Melvin Belli which lasted only a few days, she married butter baron Al Wilsey in 1969. They had a son, Sean Wilsey, in 1970. As a society wife, Montandon "acquired a reputation for giving the best parties and round-table luncheons."[1] In 1980, Wilsey abruptly ended their marriage and married Montandon's best friend, Dede Traina. The ugly divorce proceedings played out publicly; gossip columns broadcast Montandon's alimony demands (she eventually received $20,000 a month for eight years); San Francisco Chronicle wit Herb Caen dubbed her the "Blond Dumbshell" and "Pushy Galore"; and author Armistead Maupin caricatured her as the grasping society columnist Prue Giroux in Tales of the city [2][3]

Humanitarian Works[edit]

Montandon was an activist for women's rights, and in 1970 she founded The Name Choice Center to inform women of their right to keep their own name after marriage. [4]

In 1982, after her divorce from Wilsey, Montandon founded a peace group, Children as Teachers for Peace (now Children as the Peacemakers).[5] Montandon has made 37 international trips with grade-school children, and has had substantive meetings with such world leaders as China’s Premier Zhao Ziyang, Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Pope John Paul II, the late Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland of Norway, and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. She collects letters written by schoolchildren, urging an end to nuclear proliferation, and has delivered food and supplies to needy children in Russia and Ethiopia.[6]

Montandon was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize three successive years and received the UN Peace Messenger award in 1987.[7]

In 1987, Montandon designed The Banner of Hope, a mile-long, red-silk memorial inscribed with the names and ages of children killed in war, which was first presented in the Kremlin at an International Women's Congress.[8] The Banner was highlighted at opening ceremonies of the United Nations, unfurled on the Great Wall of China, and in 2005, wrapped a school in Beslan, Russia after the massacre there.[citation needed]

Montandon's peace work has been honored with awards from Turkey, El Salvador, The People's Republic of China, India, and Norway, and she received the Russian Federation’s Medal in Memory of Anne Frank, Sadako, Tanya Savicheva and Samantha Smith.[citation needed]

She is the author of numerous non-fiction books, including How to be a Party Girl,[9] The Intruders,[10] Whispers from God: A Life Beyond Imaginings,[11] and Oh the Hell of it All.[12] Her most recent book, a second memoir entitled Peeing on Hot Coals, was released in 2014.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Title sounds familiar: Now, it's mom's turn, Los Angeles Times, Robin Abcarian, April 09, 2007
  2. ^ Title sounds familiar: Now, it's mom's turn, Los Angeles Times, Robin Abcarian, April 09, 2007
  3. ^ DOUBLE TROUBLE / High anxiety in high society?, San Francisco Chronicle, Carolyne Zinko, April 15, 2007
  4. ^ “Oh the Hell of it All”, by Patricia Montandon. Harper, 2007. Page 60.
  5. ^ “Peace Organizations, Past and Present; a Survey and Directory”, by Robert S. Meyer. McFarland, 1988. Page 79.
  6. ^ DOUBLE TROUBLE / High anxiety in high society?, San Francisco Chronicle, Carolyne Zinko, April 15, 2007
  7. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pat-montandon. Retrieved 11.30.11.
  8. ^ http://instantweb.com/w/worldtrust/news.html. Retrieved 11.30.11.
  9. ^ “How to Be a Party Girl”, by Patricia Montandon and Rudolf E. Noble. McGraw Hill Book Company, 1968.
  10. ^ Montandon, Pat (1975). The Intruders. Coward, McCann & Geoghegan. ISBN 0-698-10636-9. 
  11. ^ “Whispers From God: A Life Beyond Imaginings”, by Patricia Montandon. Harper Paperbacks, 2008.
  12. ^ “Oh the Hell of it All”, by Patricia Montandon. Harper, 2007.
  13. ^ http://www.bookpassage.com/event/pat-montandon-peeing-hot-coals