Excerpts

“the most powerful woman in America”

"the most powerful woman in America"“Our patience has come to a breaking point,” Chancellor Adolf Hitler bellowed in the frenzied crescendo of his address to the Reichstag on December 11, 1941: “a plan prepared by President Roosevelt has been revealed in the United States, according to which his intention was to attack Germany by 1943 with all of the resources at the disposal of the United States.” In joining with Italy and Japan to declare war that…


The Countess Gizycka

count & countess Gizycka  at their estate in UkraineOn April 14, 1904, at noon, a defeated Robert Patterson accompanied his only daughter to the “improvised chancel” in the paneled library at 15 Dupont Circle, before an intimate gathering of some thirty-five guests made up of family, close friends and high-ranking members of the Washington diplomatic community. Whether the assembly noticed or not, the father of the bride refused…


The Countess of Flat Creek

Cissy Patterson at her ranch in Jackson HoleAfter a long, dirty Union Pacific railway journey from Chicago to Salt Lake City, followed by even dustier ride on the newly-completed Oregon Short line from there to Victor, Idaho, the recent divorcée, her eleven year-old daughter and their French maid crossed the threshold of the Killpack Hotel in August, 1917. Beneath the sign informing them they had entered the “Loby” of the town’s most…


Cissy’s Circle

Cissy Patterson & William Randolf Hearst“I enjoyed seeing you, and seeing your brother, who, by the sheer power of his sincerity and simplicity seems to exercise such an influence on the human race,” Hearst-chain editor and columnist Arthur Brisbane wrote Cissy on June 10, 1930. As William Randolph Hearst had begun to reconsider his stance on relinquishing control of his Washington Herald, Brisbane had met with the Pattersons in New York…


“The damndest newspaper ever to hit the streets”

Cissy Patterson at work at the Times-HeraldAlthough Cissy Patterson’s Times Herald shared the vitriolic isolationism of the other family papers (prompting charges of the existence of a “McCormick-Patterson Axis” from both rival press outlets and the Administration), it did not share their ownership structures. Whereas the Tribune Company effectively owned both the Chicago Tribune and the New York Daily News Cissy alone owned…


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