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Amy Vanderbilt

Born: 22-Jul-1908
Birthplace: New York City
Died: 27-Dec-1974
Location of death: New York City
Cause of death: Suicide
Remains: Buried, Evergreens Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Columnist, Author

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette

Amy Vanderbilt was America's foremost authority on good manners in the middle decades of the 20th century. She worked in the advertising and magazine industries, and rose to become president of a major public relations firm, a rare accomplishment for a woman in the 1940s. Known for her delightful dinner parties, she was asked by a client at Doubleday to compile an etiquette guide that could appeal to a younger audience than the books of the reigning queen of decorum, Emily Post. Her 700-page guide to proper behavior, Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette, was first published in 1952 and remains in print.

Vanderbilt wrote a newspaper column on polite protocol from 1954-74, and authored a best-selling cookbook illustrated by Andy Warhol. She also hosted a TV show on manners, It's Good Taste from 1954-60, and a similarly themed radio program The Right Thing to Do from 1960-62. In 1974 she jumped to her death from a second-floor window in her New York apartment.

Father: Joseph Mortimer Vanderbilt
Mother: Mary Estelle Brooks
Husband: Robert S. Brinkerhoff (m. 8-Jun-1929, div. 1932)
Husband: Morton G. Clark (m. 1935, div., one son)
Son: Lincoln Grill Clark
Husband: Hans Knopf (photographer, m. 1945, div., two sons)
Son: Paul Vanderbilt Knopf
Son: Stephen John Knopf
Husband: Curtis Kellar (m. 1968, until her death)

    High School: Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn, NY (1926)
    University: New York University (attended 1926-28)

    Publicity Associates President (1940-45)
    Publicity Associates Vice President (1939-40)
    Tower Magazines Inc. Home Manager (1934-35)

Author of books:
Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette (1952, self-help)
Amy Vanderbilt's Everyday Etiquette (1956, self-help)
Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Cook Book (1961, cookbook)

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