Fosburgh, Minnie Astor (1906–1978)

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Fosburgh, Minnie Astor (1906–1978)

American socialite and philanthropist. Name variations: Mary Cushing; Minnie Astor. Born Mary Benedict Cushing, Jan 27, 1906; died in New York, NY, Nov 4, 1978; dau. of Henry Cushing (neurosurgeon) and Katherine "Kate" (Crowell) Cushing; sister of Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney (1908–1998) and Babe Paley (1915–1978); m. Vincent Astor (b. 1891, real estate tycoon whose 1st wife was Helen Huntington Astor, later Helen Huntington Hull); m. James Whitney Fosburgh (painter); no children.

As a patron of the arts, served as a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and supported struggling young artists; her salons became famous for their glittering guest lists, which included such notables as composer Leonard Bernstein, playwright Tennessee Williams, and Princess Margaret Rose of England.

See also David Grafton, The Sisters: The Lives and Times of the Fabulous Cushing Sisters (Villard, 1992); and Women in World History.

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