Polly Lauder Tunney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Polly Lauder Tunney
Polly Lauder Tunney and Gene Tunney after marrying in 1928.jpg
Polly Lauder Tunney and Gene Tunney after marrying in 1928.
Born Mary Josephine Lauder[1]
(1907-04-24)April 24, 1907
Greenwich, Connecticut
Died April 12, 2008(2008-04-12) (aged 100)
Stamford, Connecticut
Occupation philanthropist, socialite
Spouse(s) Gene Tunney (1928–1978, his death)
Children John V. Tunney
3 other children
Relatives Mieke Sprengers Tunney (ex-daughter-in-law)
Edward Tunney (grandson)
Mark Tunney (grandson)
Kathinka Osborne Tunney (daughter-in-law)

Polly Lauder Tunney (born Mary Josephine Lauder; April 24, 1907 – April 12, 2008) was an American philanthropist and Connecticut socialite.[2] An heiress of Andrew Carnegie, Tunney drew international fame during the 1920s for her secret romance and subsequent marriage to world heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney. They had four children, including John V. Tunney (born 1934), who was a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from California from 1965 until 1977.[3]

Tunney was an active supporter of the arts. She served on the board of the Metropolitan Opera Guild from 1951 to 1970 and was the board's vice president from 1956 to 1959. She was later a member of the Guild's emeritus council from 1970 to 1992.[citation needed] She was also a major benefactor of the Audubon Society and the National Wildlife Federation.[3]

She almost died on her honeymoon of an abscessed appendicitis on the island of Brioni. Her grandfather, George Lauder, was a first cousin, and business partner, of noted industrialist Andrew Carnegie.