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Adams, Marian Hooper (13 September 1843–06 December 1885), Washington hostess, pioneer photographer, and the wife of Henry Adams, Washington hostess, pioneer photographer, and the wife of Henry Adams, was born in Boston to Edward Hooper, a wealthy ophthalmologist, and Ellen Sturgis Hooper, a Transcendental poet. “Clover,” as she was called, grew up among an affectionate clan of community conscious relatives who offered her continuing warmth and encouragement after the death of her mother when she was just five. Her father subsequently gave up his regular practice in order to rear his three children. And he became especially close to Clover, the youngest....

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Zelda Fitzgerald Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-115117).

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Fitzgerald, Zelda (24 July 1900–10 March 1948), wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, writer, and artist, wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, writer, and artist, was born in Montgomery, Alabama, the daughter of Anthony D. Sayre, an associate justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, and Minnie Buckner Machen. Zelda grew up in a privileged and secure home. As the baby of the family, she was indulged and spoiled as a child, and at a young age she began to develop eccentric, self-centered behavior. In 1909 she began studying ballet, which became a lifetime interest. Zelda was known as an excellent athlete, particularly in her habit of diving from high places on a dare. When she was seven, the family moved to 6 Pleasant Avenue in Montgomery, Zelda’s permanent home until her marriage....

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McCormick, Edith Rockefeller (31 August 1872–25 August 1932), philanthropist, socialite, and patron of the arts and psychiatry, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., an industrialist, and Laura Celestia Spelman. She spent her youth in Cleveland and New York City, where the family moved in 1880. In addition to attending the Rye Female Seminary, Edith received private tutoring and learned to play the cello. Unusually gifted and endowed with a strong scholarly inclination, she had mastered three foreign languages by the time she was ten years old....

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Post, Marjorie Merriweather (15 March 1887–12 September 1973), business owner, entertainer, and philanthropist, was born in Springfield, Illinois, the daughter of Charles William Post, founder of Postum Cereal Company, and Ella Letitia Merriweather. After several of Charles Post’s entrepreneurial ventures failed, his family entered him in a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1891. The sanitarium’s doctor, ...

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Stettheimer, Florine (19 August 1871–11 May 1944), painter, designer, and salon hostess, was born in Rochester, New York, the daughter of Joseph Stettheimer, a dry goods merchant, and Rosetta Walter, a member of a prominent German-Jewish family. Stettheimer and her four siblings spent much of their childhoods living in Europe, particularly in Stuttgart, Munich, and Paris. Their father abandoned the family when Stettheimer was a child, and as a result of his disappearance, close emotional bonds were formed among the three youngest sisters (Carrie, Florine, and Ettie) and their mother, and so Stettheimer grew up in a largely matriarchal environment. (The two older siblings, Stella and Walter, both married and moved to northern California.)...