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Letitia Baldrige

Chief of staff to first lady jacqueline kennedy
The basics
Date of birth Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida, U.S.A.
Date of death Oct 29, 2012 Bethesda, Montgomery County, Maryland, U.S.A.
Education Vassar College
Authority VIAF id NNDB id ISNI id Library of congress id
The details

Letitia "Tish" Baldrige (February 9, 1926 – October 29, 2012) was an American etiquette expert, public relations executive and author who was most famous for serving as Jacqueline Kennedy's Social Secretary.

Known as the "Doyenne of Decorum", she wrote a newspaper column, ran her own PR firm, and, along with updating Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette, she published 20 books and appeared on Late Night with David Letterman and the cover of Time magazine.

Early life

Letitia Baldrige was born February 9, 1926 in Miami, Florida, and grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, the youngest child of Republican Congressman Howard Malcolm Baldrige and his wife, Regina (née Connell). Her brother was Howard Malcolm Baldrige, Jr., the initial Secretary of Commerce during the Ronald Reagan administration .

Baldrige attended Miss Porter's School in Farmington, CT, where she met Jacqueline Bouvier, the future First Lady. The two also attended Vassar College together, from which Baldrige graduated in 1946 with a bachelor's degree in psychology.


Early years

After first being denied a position and told to improve her secretarial skills, she reapplied and was hired by the State Department as social secretary to David K.E. Bruce, US ambassador to France. After three years she was appointed secretary in Rome to the American ambassador to Italy, Clare Boothe Luce, followed by a position as director of public relations for the jeweller Tiffany & Co.

Although then a registered Republican, in 1960 she was invited to work for the Kennedy campaign in Massachusetts once he secured the Democratic presidential nomination, going on to work officially for the First Lady after his victory. Saying she "had had it" with the long days in Washington and serving the administration on overseas trips, she resigned early in 1963, to return briefly to aid the First Lady after her husband's assassination in November of that year.

After the Kennedy White House

She served on the board of directors of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. She also did significant charity work with Jane Goodall to help fundraise for the preservation of habitats for wild chimpanzees.

In 1964, the year after marrying real estate developer Robert Hollensteiner, whom she met while working for a Kennedy family firm, she founded her own PR business, Letitia Baldrige Enterprises, Chicago. Earning the nickname the "Doyenne of Decorum" with a newspaper column and a string of successful books, in 1978 she appeared on the November 28th cover of Time Magazine. She continued working into late life, publishing books in every decade from the 1950s, her final book being, Taste: Acquiring What Money Can't Buy, released in 2007.


Baldrige died of cardiac complications at a nursing facility in Bethesda, Maryland on October 29, 2012. Mary M. Mitchell, a longtime friend and collaborator, confirmed her death. She was survived by her husband, Robert Hollensteiner, and their two children, Clare and Malcolm.

The contents of this page are sourced from a Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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