Whitney, John Hay

Whitney, John Hay

biographical name

(born Aug. 17, 1904, Ellsworth, Maine, U.S.—died Feb. 8, 1982, Manhasset, N.Y.) U.S. multimillionaire and sportsman. The son of Harry Payne Whitney and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, “Jock” Whitney attended Yale University and later the University of Oxford, which he left to manage the family fortune on his father's death. He became an internationally ranked polo player, his stables produced notable racehorses, he invested in successful films and Broadway plays, and he boasted one of the finest art collections in the U.S. As a combat-intelligence captain in World War II, he was captured in France but escaped; he was later awarded the Legion of Merit. He served as ambassador to Britain (1956–61). As publisher and (from 1961) editor in chief of the New York Herald Tribune, he tried to revitalize the paper, but it folded in 1966. He founded the John Hay Whitney Foundation in 1946.

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