Tuesday, March 9, 2010

This was Then: Malcom Forbes' 70th, Part II

Palais Mendoub, the site of Malcolm Forbes Birthday Party.
Malcolm Forbes was the most celebrated magazine publisher of his day although there were others far richer and with larger media empires. Forbes was famous for his lifestyle which was viewed as a kind of flashy irreverence.

The weekend pass for Malcolm Forbes' 70th birthday celebration.
This birthday party was highly publicized at the time and the guest list of 800 was stellar. It was not his first or only birthday party that year. He was a man whose image was his "branding." He lived grandly with private jets, yachts and a French chateaux.

It was a flashiness that ran counter to his WASPish background, a kind of platinum-plated rebel. And he threw these extravagant glamorous parties, and even picked up the check. Plus he was a lot of fun and good company. Is it any wonder everybody wanted to know him?

Elizabeth Taylor was his co-host for this shindig. The guests were flown in from all over (especially the United States) on private or charter jets or Concorde. In retrospect it was a grand promotion, entertaining clients and would-be clients (advertisers) that enriched his popular business magazine.
The party map.
Malcolm Forbes died less than six months after this party, at home on his estate in Far Hills. Very shortly thereafter he was "outed" by journalist Michelangelo Signorile. This was long known by some and unknown to many. In his later years he became more of a partygoer. One could speculate he was naturally making up for lost time. The "outing" was a shock, especially to his friends who were not aware (or did not believe) that he was gay. Signorile published the story more with intention of showing how "acceptable" a gay man is without the predictable tarnish of prejudice. In this case, the band did not play on, but the party was great fun while it lasted, as you can imagine when you see ...
Malcolm Forbes arrives.
Walter and Betsy Cronkite. Allison and Leonard Stern.
Pouring tea.
Ann Getty. Annette and Oscar de la Renta.
Malcolm and Liz.
Arnold Scaasi and Gayfryd Steinberg. Barbara Walters and Shirley Lord.
Carolyne Roehm, Henry Kravis, and Barbara Walters.
Betsy Bloomingdale, Reinaldo Herrera, and Aline de Romanones. Beverly Sills.
David and Helen Gurley Brown.
Catie and Donald Marron. Diane von Furstenberg.
Robert Maxwell.
Ezra and Cecile Zilkha. Pat and Bill Buckley.
Kelly and Calvin Klein. Laure Boulay de la Meurthes.
Hamish Bowles.
Elizabeth Taylor. Nancy Kissinger.
Henry Kissinger and Beverly Sills.
Marella Agnelli. Robert and Blaine Trump with Carolyne Roehm and Henry Kravis.
Lucky Roosevelt.
Susan Gutfreund and Pat Kluge. Tommy and Nan Kempner.
The birthday tent.
Malcolm cuts the cake with Liz by his side.
The following day a "King's Lunch" was held before the party guests returned home ...
Pat Buckley arrives at the Sunday lunch.
Arnold Scaasi and Gayfryd Steinberg. Bill Buckley.
Betsy Bloomingdale. Ed Kosner, Mort Zuckerman, and Merv Adelson.
Henry Kissinger. Iris Love.
Walter Cronkite surveys the scene.
Kay Graham. Kay Graham and Walter Cronkite.
Lunch is served.
Liz Arrives ... Liz lunches (with malcolm) ...
Liz flashes ...
Kip Forbes, Mario Buatta, and Reinaldo Herrera. Leonard Stern.
Pat Buckley. Robert Maxwell.
Tommy Kempner, Hillie and David Mahoney..
Pat and Bill Buckley on the way home.
Click here to view Part I (The arrival day and evening) of Malcolm Forbes' 70th birthday party weekend celebration.
Photographs by Mary Hilliard.

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