Sherman Billingsley
Bootlegger, restaurateur
Sherman Billingsley
Sherman Billingsley was an American nightclub owner and former bootlegger who was the founder and owner of New York's Stork Club. John Sherman Billingsley was the youngest child of Robert Billingsley and Emily Collingsworth. He was born in Enid, Oklahoma on March 10, 1900. His parents had settled in Enid following the 1893 land run. The Billingsley children attended school in a one room schoolhouse, riding a horse to get to school.
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A Stork Rises From Its Ashes - New York Times (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
You had the family of the Stork Club's charismatic owner, Sherman Billingsley, presiding over it all. No, the Stork Club had not risen from the ashes at 3 East 53rd Street, where it attracted the rich, the famous, the beautiful — the important
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Google News article
Barbara Billingsley, Maternal Ideal on TV In the 1950s, Dies at 94
NYTimes - over 6 years
Barbara Billingsley, who as June Cleaver on the television series ''Leave It to Beaver'' personified a Hollywood postwar family ideal of the ever-sweet, ever-helpful suburban stay-at-home mom, died Saturday. She was 94. A family spokeswoman, Judy Twersky, said that Ms. Billingsley had died of polymyalgia, a rheumatoid disease, at her home in Santa
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NYTimes article
Paid Notice: Deaths MOHLER, BARBARA BILLINGSLEY
NYTimes - about 7 years
MOHLER--Barbara Billingsley, 73, died January 26, 2010 in Scottsdale, AZ. Daughter of Hazel and Sherman Billingsley, owner of the Stork Club. Survived by son Sherman Mohler and daughter Virginia Black, grandchildren Alexander Mohler, Benjamin Mohler, Neil Black, Connor Black, Aiden Black, Evan Black, of Arizona. Sister Shermane Billingsley of New
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NYTimes article
NEW YORK BOOKSHELF/NONFICTION; Looking Down at a Terminal, Looking Up at a Bouncer
NYTimes - over 13 years
INVISIBLE FRONTIER: Exploring the Tunnels, Ruins, and Rooftops of Hidden New York By L.B. Deyo and David (Lefty) Leibowitz Three Rivers Press ($14.95, paperback) The roof of Grand Central Terminal is just as I remember it. A half-dozen huge air-conditioning units, each almost two stories high, stand amidst catwalks that weave across its entire
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NYTimes article
NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: UNION SQUARE; Archetypal Host
NYTimes - almost 14 years
TWENTY years ago this week, hundreds of artists, rockers and freaks sat alongside squares and swells to bid farewell to Mickey Ruskin, one of New York's great impresarios of the night. Mr. Ruskin was the owner of Max's Kansas City, and Max's, a saloon off Union Square, was for two decades a fixture on the New York club scene and a home away from
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NYTimes article
SOAPBOX; Marilyn In Manhattan
NYTimes - over 14 years
FEW people write about Marilyn Monroe in New York, despite her strong and visible presence in the city where she lived on and off from 1949 until just before her death four decades ago tomorrow. Marilyn loved New York and New York loved her. Here she could shop like a civilian, go to the movies, have her hair done at Kenneth's Salon on East 54th
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NYTimes article
Destiny's Child
NYTimes - about 15 years
She was born in Bermuda. Her mother wrote short stories; her father, a chronic alcoholic, was the only American playwright to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. Barely a toddler when her father ran off with another woman, she and her older brother were raised by their mother. Her formal education ended at Brearley, an exclusive girls' school in
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NYTimes article
Jean Patchett, 75, a Model Who Helped Define the 50's
NYTimes - about 15 years
Jean Patchett, a leading fashion model of the 1950's whose face was one of the signatures of a highly glamorous era, died on Jan. 22 at her home in La Quinta, Calif. She was 75. The cause was emphysema, her husband, Louis Auer, said. In a photograph in profile by Erwin Blumenfeld for the famous Jan. 1, 1950, cover of Vogue, Ms. Patchett's
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NYTimes article
Ideas & Trends; New York's Nightlife Evolves From Glamour to Glam
NYTimes - over 15 years
WITH a two-foot hatchet, Carry Nation burst into the office of New York's Police Commissioner Mike Murphy 100 years ago last month. ''Don't you think New York is an awful bad place?'' she demanded. Mr. Murphy wasn't intimidated, reported The New York World. ''You don't know what you're talking about,'' he roared. ''Go back to Kansas.'' Instead, she
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NYTimes article
SPARE TIMES
NYTimes - over 16 years
ATTRACTIONS Museums and Sites AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, Central Park West and 79th Street. ''Fighting Dinosaurs: New Discoveries From Mongolia,'' featuring one of the most famous fossil finds in the world; through Oct. 29. ''Mongolia Observed: Photographs Present and Past,'' featuring 40 color images by Robert Peck and black-and-white
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NYTimes article
SPARE TIMES
NYTimes - over 16 years
ATTRACTIONS Museums and Sites AMERICAN MUSEUM OF THE MOVING IMAGE, 34-12 36th Street, at 35th Avenue, Astoria, Queens. ''Behind the Mirror: American Film in the 1950's,'' through Sept. 3. Tomorrow at 2 p.m., John Sturges's ''Bad Day at Black Rock'' (1954); at 4:30 p.m., Emile De Antonio's ''Point of Order'' (1964). Sunday at 2 p.m., Richard
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NYTimes article
A Stork Club Reminiscence Brings Out the Memories
NYTimes - almost 17 years
To the Editor: Patricia Bosworth's insider remembrances brought back my own memories. I was back from Korea and occasionally took a date to the Stork. The bar was small, almost intimate and the drinks relatively inexpensive. I would bring a date, we would have two drinks at the bar, invariably Sherman Billingsley would come by and say hello, and we
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NYTimes article
The 'In' Crowd
NYTimes - almost 17 years
STORK CLUB America's Most Famous Nightspot and the Lost World of Cafe Society. By Ralph Blumenthal. Illustrated. 296 pp. Boston: Little, Brown & Company. $25.95. The once grand Stork Club and Sherman Billingsley, its arrogant, swaggering proprietor, are now almost completely forgotten. Today's obscurity should not be a surprise. Most night places,
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NYTimes article
FIRST PERSON; 'I Was a Hatcheck Girl at the Stork'
NYTimes - almost 17 years
THIS Tuesday, Sherman Billingsley's Stork Club, the legendary watering hole that was established during Prohibition and closed in 1965, will live again at the New-York Historical Society. The Stork was popular with some of the biggest celebrities in the world, including Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Ernest Hemingway and the Kennedy family. I'm
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NYTimes article
THEATER; Cabaret: Allowing The Actors To Expand
NYTimes - about 17 years
FROM the back streets of Montmartre in 1881, where the intellectual avant-garde and the artlessly trashy converged after dark, to the ever darkening spread of decadent night life in Berlin in the early 1900's, the evolution of cabaret as an alternative entertainment form has encompassed sleaze, sophistication and numerous, complex and subtle
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He Turned Gossip Into Tawdry Power; Walter Winchell, Who Climbed High and Fell Far, Still Scintillates
NYTimes - over 18 years
Few indisputable points can be made about Walter Winchell. One is that in his day, from the late 1920's to the 50's, he added extraordinary zest to the language of tabloid journalism. In his abundantly syndicated column, newly married couples were ''welded'' or ''lohengrinned,'' or ''Adam-and-Eveing it.'' A pregnant woman was ''infanticipating,''
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NYTimes article
Can Clubland Live In Quality-of-Life Era?
NYTimes - over 20 years
It's war, they say. Don Hill, the owner of a nightclub on the edge of SoHo, is ready for combat because he had to pay a $100 fine after a city inspector caught 40 people dancing at his place last year. Larry Bloch, the owner of Wetlands, a nightclub in TriBeCa, is fighting mad because if a band puts up illegal posters advertising its appearance on
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NYTimes article
Stork Club May Be Gone, but Stories Live On;A Tab to Remember
NYTimes - over 20 years
To the Editor: Your July 1 news article on the Stork Club, the famous Manhattan nightclub owned by Sherman Billingsley, brought back recollections of the wonder of Mr. Billingsley's handling of people and his capacity to help those who really needed a hand up. Frank, one of his captains of waiters, the white-haired one, had a brother or cousin or
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NYTimes article
One Fight a Year Is Good Publicity'
NYTimes - over 20 years
The worst enemy you can have is one who was once your best friend," wrote Sherman Billingsley, who made plenty of both as the gatekeeper of cafe society at the Stork Club. Here, from notes he kept for a book, are other observations. Some people go though life hiring one lawyer after the other to get them out of trouble that the lawyer before got
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NYTimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Sherman Billingsley
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1966
    Age 65
    Died on October 4, 1966.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1963
    Age 62
    Billingsley offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the return of his son-in-law, Alexander I. Rorke, Jr., in 1963, when his plane disappeared over the Caribbean.
    More Details Hide Details One of Billingsley's mistresses in the late 1930s was actress Ethel Merman. His nephew, Glenn Billingsley, was married to Leave It to Beaver actress Barbara Billingsley.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1930
    Age 29
    According to Ralph Blumenthal in his 2000 book, Stork Club, another New York nightclub owner named Mary Louise Cecilia Guinan, widely known as "Tex Guinan", introduced Billingsley to her friend, commentator Walter Winchell, in 1930.
    More Details Hide Details In his column in the New York Daily Mirror, Winchell called the Stork Club "New York's New Yorkiest place on W. 58th". In 1951, the Stork Club began to decline in popularity after refusing service to Josephine Baker. Having witnessed the incident, actress Grace Kelly raced over to Baker and took her by the arm, storming out of the establishment along with a large party, all vowing never to return. The two women became close friends after the incident and Baker sued Billingsley and the Stork Club. After seeing that her actions had caused the club's ultimate demise, Baker withdrew her lawsuit in 1955, feeling vindicated.
  • OTHER
  • 1896
    Age -5
    John Sherman Billingsley was the youngest child of Robert Billingsley and Emily Collingsworth. He was born in Enid, Oklahoma on March 10, 1896. (In later years, Billingsley claimed to have been born in 1900, but this is refuted by both the 1930 census and the Social Security Death Index.) His parents had settled in Enid following the 1893 land run.
    More Details Hide Details The Billingsley children attended school in a one room schoolhouse, riding a horse to get to school. When an older brother committed a murder and was sent to prison, the family relocated to Anadarko to be near him. Upon the brother's release from jail, he enlisted Sherman as an assistant in his bootlegging business. The family moved again, this time to Oklahoma City where Sherman was again drawn into the bootlegging business by another of his older brothers. This business extended into Omaha, Toledo, and Detroit. In Detroit at age 18, Billingsley was arrested and convicted on Federal charges. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison, and spent time in Leavenworth before his conviction was reversed. When his brother ran out on his Detroit mob partners, he left for New York, with Sherman joining him within a short period of time. Billingsley began buying drug stores in New York City and even started his own real estate office to help him acquire drug stores.
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