Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney

Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney

Born May 18, 1908

Betsey Roosevelt Whitney, was an American philanthropist, the ex-wife of James Roosevelt (the eldest son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt), and later wife of American millionaire and U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James's, John Hay Whitney.

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney.

  • Judith Peabody, 80, Dies; Aided Arts And The Sick
    NYTimes - Jul 27, 2010
  • Shelter Rock Facing An Uncertain Future
    NYTimes - Feb 28, 1999
  • Television Review; A Knack For Meeting The Famous And Marrying Well
    NYTimes - Oct 12, 1998
  • Paid Notice: Deaths Whitney, Betsey Cushing
    NYTimes - Mar 29, 1998


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney.


1908 Birth Born on May 18, 1908.


1930 22 Years Old Betsey married James Roosevelt II in 1930, the eldest son of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and First Lady Anna Eleanor Roosevelt. … Read More


1939 31 Years Old Her husband served his father as an aide at the White House, and Betsey often stood-in as hostess at the White House when Eleanor was absent. When FDR entertained King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at a picnic at the Roosevelt estate in Hyde Park, New York in 1939, Betsey was prominent at the affair, and accompanied FDR as he drove the King and Queen along the Hudson River. … Read More
1940 32 Years Old 1 More Event
…  As a result of their mother's coaching to marry well, all three Cushing sisters married into wealth and prominence: Betsey's older sister, Mary, married Vincent Astor, the heir of a $200 million fortune, in 1940, and her younger sister Barbara "Babe" was married to Standard Oil heir Stanley Mortimer, Jr., and to CBS founder William S. Paley.
1942 34 Years Old On March 1, 1942, Betsey married millionaire John Hay Whitney, who had been previously married to socialite Elizabeth Altemus. They moved to London in 1957, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower named Whitney Ambassador to the Court of St. James's. … Read More


1978 70 Years Old Both of Betsey's sisters died of cancer within months of each other in 1978.
1982 74 Years Old After her husband's death in 1982, Betsey donated $8 million to the Yale Medical School, then the largest gift in the school's history. … Read More
1990 82 Years Old 1 More Event
Betsey also made art auction history in 1990 by putting up for sale, by Sotheby's, one of Renoir's most famous paintings, the sun-dappled cafe scene Bal au moulin de la Galette, Montmartre. … Read More
1998 90 Years Old Betsey died on March 25, 1998 at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York.
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