John Hay "Jock" Whitney (August 17, 1904 – February 8, 1982) was U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, publisher of the New York Herald Tribune, and president of the Museum of Modern Art. He was a member of the Whitney family.
John Hay Whitney
|United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom|
February 11, 1957 – January 14, 1961
|President||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|Prime Minister||Harold Macmillan|
|Preceded by||Winthrop W. Aldrich|
|Succeeded by||David K. E. Bruce|
|Born||August 17, 1904|
|Died||February 8, 1982 (aged 77)|
Manhasset, New York
Mary Elizabeth Artemus
(m. 1930; div. 1940)
Betsey Cushing Roosevelt
|Children||Kate Roosevelt Whitney|
Sara D. Roosevelt Whitney
Helen Julia Hay
|Relatives||See Whitney family|
|Alma mater||Yale College|
|Awards||Legion of Merit|
Benjamin Franklin Medal
Whitney was born on August 17, 1904, in Ellsworth, Maine, Whitney was a descendant of John Whitney, a Puritan who settled in Massachusetts in 1635, as well as of William Bradford, who came over on the Mayflower. His father was Payne Whitney, and his grandfathers were William C. Whitney and John Hay, both presidential cabinet members. His mother was Helen Hay Whitney.
The Whitneys' family mansion, Payne Whitney House on New York's Fifth Avenue, was around the corner from James B. Duke House, home of the founder of the American Tobacco Co. Whitney's uncle, Oliver Hazard Payne, a business partner of John D. Rockefeller, arranged the funding for Duke to buy out his competitors.
Jock Whitney attended Groton School, then Yale College. He joined Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Phi chapter), as his father had. Whitney, his father, grandfather, and great-uncle were oarsmen at Yale, and his father was captain of the crew in 1898. He was a member of Scroll and Key. While at Yale, he inspired the coining of the term "crew cut" for the haircut favored by the rowing crew which still bears the name. After graduating in 1926, Whitney went to Oxford University, but the death of his father necessitated his returning home. He inherited a trust fund of $20 million (approximately $210 million in 2005 dollars), and later inherited four times that amount from his mother.
In 1929, Whitney– despite his vast wealth –was a clerk at the firm of Lee, Higginson & Co where, through his boss, J.T. Claiborne, Jr., he met former Lee, Higginson clerk Langbourne Meade Williams, Jr., who had come to Claiborne for help in his efforts to gain control of Freeport Texas Co. Williams was a scion of a founding investment firm in the sulfur mining company. In 1929, the year after Whitney became one of the wealthiest men in America, through inheritance; Williams enlisted the help of Whitney's boss, who then enlisted Whitney's financial participation, in his efforts to oust founder and Chairman Eric P. Swenson, casting Whitney in the role of corporate raider before the term existed. Whitney was soon Freeport's biggest shareholder, enabling Williams to replace the chairman and his management team. Claiborne was made a Vice-President; Williams became Freeport's president in 1933, and Whitney was appointed Chairman of the Board.
In 1946, Whitney founded J.H. Whitney & Company, the oldest venture capital firm in the U.S., with Benno C. Schmidt, Sr.– who coined the term "venture capital" –with J. T. Claiborne as a partner. Whitney put up $10 million to finance entrepreneurs with business plans who were unwelcome at banks. Companies Whitney invested in included Spencer Chemical and Minute Maid. In 1958, while he was still ambassador to the United Kingdom, his company Whitney Communications Corp. bought the New York Herald Tribune, and was its publisher from 1961 to its closure in 1966. Whitney Communications also owned and operated other newspapers, plus magazines and broadcasting stations. Whitney's television stations were sold to Dun & Bradstreet in 1969.
An October 1934 Fortune article on the Technicolor Corporation noted Whitney's interest in pictures. He had met Technicolor head Herbert Kalmus at the Saratoga Race Course. In 1932, Technicolor achieved a breakthrough with its three-strip process. Merian C. Cooper of RKO Radio Pictures approached Whitney with the idea of investing in Technicolor. They joined forces and founded Pioneer Pictures in 1933, with a distribution deal with RKO to distribute Pioneer's films. Whitney and his cousin Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney bought a 15% stake in Technicolor.
Whitney was also the major investor in David O. Selznick's production company Selznick International Pictures, putting up $870,000 and serving as Chairman of the Board. He put up half the money to option Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind for the Selznick film version, in which he then invested, and later in Rebecca (1940).
Whitney served in the United States Army Air Forces as an intelligence officer during World War II, assigned to the Office of Strategic Services. He was taken prisoner by the Germans in southern France, but escaped when the train transporting him to a POW camp came under Allied fire.
Whitney inherited his family's love of horses, a predilection he shared with his sister, Joan Whitney Payson. Jock and his sister ran Greentree Stables in the U.S., owned by their mother. In 1928, he became the youngest member ever elected to The Jockey Club.
Whitney and his first wife "Liz" raced horses both in the United States and in Europe. He owned Easter Hero who won the 1929 and 1930 editions of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. In the 1929 Grand National, his horse twisted a plate and was beaten by a nose at the finish. Although Whitney entered the Grand National annually, he never again came close to winning.
The Whitneys entered four horses in the Kentucky Derby in the 1930s, "Stepenfetchit," which finished 3rd in 1932, "Overtime," which finished 5th in 1933, "Singing Wood," which finished 8th in 1934, and "Heather Broom," which finished 3rd in 1939.
In 2015, Whitney was posthumously inducted to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame as Pillar of the Turf.
Whitney was the major backer of Dwight D. Eisenhower. President Eisenhower appointed him United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, a post held sixty years earlier by Whitney's grandfather John Hay. Whitney played a major role in improving Anglo-American relations, which had been severely strained during the 1956 Suez Crisis, when Eisenhower demanded that the British, French and Israelis terminate their invasion of Egypt.
In 1930, Whitney purchased the Llangollen estate as a bridal gift for his fiancée, the Pennsylvania socialite Mary Elizabeth "Liz" Altemus. It was a 2,200-acre (890 ha) historic equestrian farm just outside Middleburg, Virginia. They were married on September 23, 1931. Although married to Altemus, Whitney was romantically linked to Tallulah Bankhead, Joan Bennett, Paulette Goddard and Joan Crawford. Clark Gable and Carole Lombard met at one of Whitney's parties. In the early 1930s, Jock Whitney began an affair with Nina Gore Vidal; at the same time Mary Altemus Whitney had an affair with Nina Vidal's husband Eugene Vidal. The couple divorced in 1940, but Liz Whitney remained at Llangollen for the rest of her life, becoming an internationally renowned horse breeder and a member of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association Hall of Fame.
Whitney met Fred Astaire in New York City while the former was a student at Yale University and they became lifelong friends, sharing a passion for horse racing. Whitney became a major investor in two of Astaire's Broadway stage vehicles, The Band Wagon (1930) and Gay Divorce (1932), and played a crucial role in securing for Astaire a contract with RKO Pictures in 1933, using his contacts with Merion C. Cooper - both men were board members of Pan American Airways whose planes were prominently featured in Astaire's breakthrough film with Ginger Rogers: Flying Down to Rio (1933).
During the 1970s, Whitney was listed as one of the ten wealthiest men in the world. The residences at his disposal over the years included an estate on Long Island; Greenwood Plantation in Georgia; a townhouse and an elegant apartment in Manhattan; a large summer house on Fishers Island, near New London, Connecticut; a 12-room house in Saratoga Springs, which the Whitneys used when they attended horse races; a golfing cottage in Augusta, Georgia, where he was a member of the Augusta National Golf Club; and a spacious house Cherry Hill in Virginia Water, Surrey, England, near the Ascot Racecourse. Mr. Whitney also owned an estate in Aiken, South Carolina, which he considered his 'retirement' home and where he hoped to spend his final days.
Whitney died on February 8, 1982 at North Shore Hospital, Manhasset, Long Island, after a long illness
Payne Whitney made substantial gifts to Yale, to the New York Presbyterian Hospital, and the New York Public Library. After his father's death, the family built the Payne Whitney Gymnasium at Yale in his honor. The family also financed Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic at New York Presbyterian Hospital in 1932.
Whitney created the John Hay Whitney Foundation for educational projects in 1946. The Foundation provided fellowships to the racially and culturally deprived. He became a major contributor to Yale University, where he served as a Fellow of the Corporation.
In 1951, he and his wife Betsey Cushing Whitney donated land from their "Greentree" estate in Manhasset, New York toward the building of North Shore Hospital. Currently called North Shore University Hospital, it is the flagship hospital of the 3rd largest not-for-profit secular healthcare system in the United States, the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.
In 1953, Whitney received The Hundred Year Association of New York's Gold Medal Award "in recognition of outstanding contributions to the City of New York."
In the late 1960s/early 1970's John Hay Whitney donated two small parcels of land in Manhasset to the County of Nassau and to the Manhasset-Lakeville Volunteer Fire Department. The Nassau County parcel was the new home for the 6th Police Precinct of the Nassau County Police, located at the S/E intersection of Community Drive and East Community Drive. Just east of the 6th pct, at 2 E Community Dr., the M-LFD parcel was the new home of Fire Company #2 of the M-LFD, where John Hay Whitney was voted in by the membership of Company number two as an Honorary Member of the Company.
In 1930 Whitney was elected to the board of trustees of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and named President of the MoMA Film Library in 1935. In 1941 he succeeded Nelson A. Rockefeller as President of MoMA. In 1946 he succeeded Stephen C. Clark as Chairman of the Board of Trustees
When Whitney moved to England as United States Ambassador, he took a number of his favourite artworks with him to enjoy during his posting. Before his return to the US, he agreed for the first time to loan part of his collection for the public to see. He provided the Tate Gallery with 56 paintings from the collection in England and specially brought in a further 11 paintings from the US. The exhibition, the John Hay Whitney Collection, ran from 16 December 1960 to 29 January 1961 
In 1983 the National Gallery of Art, Washington held an exhibition of the John Hay Whitney Collection with paintings loaned by Whitney's wife, The Museum of Modern Art and Yale University Art Gallery 
Among the paintings in his collection, Jock Whitney's prized possession was the Bal au moulin de la Galette painted in 1876 by the French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir. In 1990, his widow put the painting up for auction with Sotheby's, New York and it sold for US$78 million to Japanese businessman, Ryoei Saito.
Whitney's widow donated a number of paintings from his collection to the Greentree Foundation. One of those paintings by Pablo Picasso, Garçon à la pipe was auctioned by Sotheby's in May 2004 for $104 million 
The following works have been publicly exhibited or sold from the former collection of John Hay Whitney.
Sources: John Hay Whitney Collection (Catalogue), Tate Gallery, 1960, John Hay Whitney Collection (Catalogue), National Gallery of Art, 1983, Sotheby's Catalogue, auction 10 May 1999, Sotheby's Catalogue, auction 5 May 2004
Whitney gave Fred Astaire a pair of big-wheel roller skates as a present. A few years later roller skating was one of his most important dance numbers on film.
Whitney and Jimmy Altemus provided the lyrics for a sing composed by Fred Astaire, "Tappin' the Time."
President Dwight D. Eisenhower took pains to transmit to Ambassador Whitney in London, by telegram, the first round golf scores of the Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on 5 April 1957. 
Ambassador Whitney had a very demanding and exhausting scheduled but was not fazed by it. After having been to three or four receptions one day, his wife was not surprised to find their chauffeur, groggy from his rounds, dozing on the back seat of their limousine and the Ambassador driving the car.
Whitney: "I have just had a heart attack and am on a very strict diet. However if you will twist my arm a little, I will probably give in and we will consume a number of very large dry martinis" 
William S. Paley (the legendary founder of CBS), who was Whitney's brother in law, had a gentle rivalry with Whitney. Once while watching television with Whitney at Greentree, Paley wanted to change the channel. 'Where's your clicker?' Paley asked, figuring Jock would have a remote-control switch at his fingertips. Jock calmly pressed a buzzer, and his butler walked up to the TV set to make the switch.
The White House Is Nice, But It's No Greentree! E. J. Kahn, Mr. Whitney's biographer, reported that one of his daughters, Kate, once took her own children on a tour of the White House. Mr. Kahn wrote, After inspecting it, they pronounced it nice enough but hardly on a par with Greentree. [His Long Island estate] 
Winthrop W. Aldrich
| U.S. Ambassador to the
David K. E. Bruce
Betsey Maria Cushing Whitney (May 18, 1909 – March 25, 1998) was an American philanthropist, a former daughter-in-law of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and later wife of U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James's, John Hay Whitney.Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library
The Harvey Cushing and John Hay Whitney Medical Library is the central library of the Yale School of Medicine, Yale School of Nursing, and Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. According to its mission statement, the Library "strives to be a center of excellence that develops and sustains services and resources to support the biomedical, health, and public health care information needs of Yale University and the Yale-New Haven Medical Center."Lam Qua
Lam Qua (Chinese: 林官; Cantonese Yale: Lam Kwan; 1801–1860), or Kwan Kiu Cheong (關喬昌), was a Chinese painter from the Canton province in Qing Dynasty China, who specialized in Western-style portraits intended largely for Western clients. Lam Qua was the first Chinese portrait painter to be exhibited in the West. He is known for his medical portraiture, and for his portraits of Western and Chinese merchants in Canton and Macau. He had a workshop in 'New China Street' among the Thirteen Factories in Canton.
In the 1820s, Lam Qua is said by some contemporaries to have studied with George Chinnery, the first English painter to settle in China – although Chinnery himself denied this. Lam Qua became well-known and skilled in Chinnery's style of portraiture. He developed a following among the international community, and undercut Chinnery's prices.
From 1836 to 1855, Lam Qua produced a series of medical portraits of patients under treatment with physician Peter Parker, a medical missionary from the United States. Parker commissioned Lam Qua to paint pre-operative portraits of patients who had large tumors or other major deformities. Some of the paintings are now part of a collection of Lam Qua's work held by the Yale University in the Peter Parker Collection at the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library; others are in the Gordon Museum, Guy's Hospital, London.Mountains at Collioure
Mountains at Collioure is a 1905 painting by French painter André Derain. It was made while he was working with Henri Matisse at the fishing port of Collioure, in France. Since 1982 it has been in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. after John Hay Whitney, the owner of the piece, died in 1982. The work features long strokes of colours such as bright green, blue, mauve and pink. The entire scene is under a jade and turquoise sky.One Hitter
One Hitter (foaled 1946 in Kentucky) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse bred and raced by the Greentree Stable of Joan Whitney Payson and her brother, John Hay Whitney.Payne Whitney Gymnasium
The Payne Whitney Gymnasium is the gymnasium of Yale University. One of the largest athletic facilities ever built, its twelve acres of interior space include a nine-story tower containing a third-floor swimming pool, fencing facilities, and a polo practice room. The building houses the facilities of many varsity teams at Yale, including basketball, fencing, gymnastics, squash, swimming, and volleyball. It is the second-largest gym in the world by cubic feet and the 94th largest in the United States by square footage.
The building was donated to Yale by John Hay Whitney, of the Yale class of 1926, in honor of his father, Payne Whitney. Because it was designed in the Gothic Revival style that prevailed at Yale between 1920 and 1945, it is commonly known as "the cathedral of sweat". For the design of Payne Whitney Gymnasium, architect John Russell Pope was awarded the Silver Medal at the 1932 Olympic Games Art Competition.
The stuffed original Handsome Dan, the bulldog mascot of Yale and the first college mascot in the United States, resides in a glass cabinet near the entrance to the building.Payne Whitney House
The Payne Whitney house is a historic building at 972 Fifth Avenue at 79th Street in Manhattan, New York City. It was designed by Stanford White and is considered one of that great architect's finest mature works. It is currently the home of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, and houses a French-language bookstore, the Albertine.Pioneer Pictures
Pioneer Pictures, Inc. was a Hollywood motion picture company, most noted for its early commitment to making color films. Pioneer was initially affiliated with RKO Pictures, whose production facilities in Culver City, California were used by Pioneer, and who distributed Pioneer's films. Pioneer later merged with Selznick International Pictures.
The company was formed in 1933 by investor John Hay Whitney, who wanted to get into the motion picture business, and his cousin Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, on the encouragement of RKO executive Merian C. Cooper, an enthusiast of the newly improved, full-color Technicolor Process No. 4, introduced in 1932. The process had been used thus far only in Walt Disney cartoons. Technicolor, Inc. had been operating at a loss in 1931–1933, mostly servicing old contracts for its two-component color system, and badly needed a movie studio that would move the new three-component process into feature filmmaking. Although there was no formal connection between Technicolor and Pioneer, the Whitneys invested in stock and stock options estimated at 15 percent of Technicolor.Pioneer announced that its first color production would be The Last Days of Pompeii, but it was eventually filmed by RKO in black and white. Other never-realized color projects were adaptations of the novels The Three Musketeers and Green Mansions. Instead, Pioneer designated the musical short La Cucaracha (1934) to be its Technicolor live-action showcase, and subsequently won an Academy Award for it.
In late 1934, Pioneer contracted with Technicolor to make nine features in the full color process, and hired RKO's Merian C. Cooper to be its vice-president in charge of production. Becky Sharp (1935), an adaptation of Thackeray's novel Vanity Fair, became the first feature-length motion picture in full color, followed by Dancing Pirate (1936).Helen Gahagan became the first actor under a multi-picture contract with Pioneer Pictures, while John Ford was engaged to direct several color productions, starting with The Life of Custer. Neither would actually make a picture with Pioneer.
The Whitneys became founding investors in the newly formed Selznick International Pictures in 1935, and Pioneer Pictures was informally merged with it the following year, after Pioneer completed its releasing obligations with RKO. Directing contracts with John Ford and George Cukor were transferred. Selznick International, which also used the RKO studio and Forty Acres backlot, carried out Pioneer's commitment to produce features in Technicolor. Two Selznick color productions, A Star Is Born (1937) and Nothing Sacred (1937), were in fact copyrighted to Pioneer Pictures.
Selznick International Pictures was dissolved by its owners in 1940–1943. John Hay Whitney then sold Becky Sharp, Dancing Pirate, A Star Is Born, and Nothing Sacred to the distributing company Film Classics, Inc. Film Classics was acquired by Cinecolor Corporation in 1947 — a company specializing in a two-component color process. Cinecolor resold Film Classics to Film Classics' officers in 1949.Sara Wilford
Sara Delano Roosevelt Whitney diBonaventura Wilford (born March 13, 1932) is a psychologist who taught at Sarah Lawrence College from 1982 to 2014.She is a daughter of Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney, a prominent philanthropist in medicine and art, and James Roosevelt, the oldest son of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Wilford's adoptive father was John Hay Whitney.Technicolor
Technicolor is a series of color motion picture processes, the first version dating to 1916, and followed by improved versions over several decades.
It was the second major color process, after Britain's Kinemacolor, and the most widely used color process in Hollywood from 1922 to 1952. Technicolor became known and celebrated for its highly saturated color, and was initially most commonly used for filming musicals such as The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Down Argentine Way (1940), costume pictures such as The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and Gone with the Wind (1939), and animated films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Gulliver's Travels (1939), and Fantasia (1940). As the technology matured it was also used for less spectacular dramas and comedies. Occasionally, even a film noir—such as Leave Her to Heaven (1945) or Niagara (1953)—was filmed in Technicolor.
"Technicolor" is the trademark for a series of color motion picture processes pioneered by Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation (a subsidiary of Technicolor, Inc.), now a division of the French company Technicolor SA. The Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation was founded in Boston in 1914 (incorporated in Maine in 1915) by Herbert Kalmus, Daniel Frost Comstock, and W. Burton Wescott. The "Tech" in the company's name was inspired by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where both Kalmus and Comstock received their undergraduate degrees and were later instructors. Technicolor, Inc. was chartered in Delaware in 1921. Most of Technicolor's early patents were taken out by Comstock and Wescott, while Kalmus served primarily as the company's president and chief executive officer.The Open Window (Matisse)
The Open Window, also known as Open Window, Collioure, is a painting by Henri Matisse. The work, an oil on canvas, was painted in 1905 and exhibited at the Salon d'Automne in Paris the same year. It was bequeathed in 1998 by the estate of Mrs. John Hay Whitney to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC..It is an example of the Fauvist style of painting that Matisse became famous for, and for which he was a leader, roughly between the years 1900–1909. The Open Window depicts the view out the window of his apartment in Collioure, on the Southern coast of France. We see sailboats on the water, as viewed from Matisse's hotel window overlooking the harbor. He returned frequently to the theme of the open window in Paris and especially during the years in Nice and Etretat, and in his final years, particularly during the late 1940s.
|Ministers Plenipotentiary to|
the Court of St. James's
|Envoys Extraordinary and |
Ministers Plenipotentiary to
the Court of St. James's
and Plenipotentiary to
the Court of St. James's