Luce, Clare Boothe, 1903-1987

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Clare Boothe Luce (née Ann Clare Boothe; March 10, 1903 – October 9, 1987) was an American author, politician, U.S. Ambassador and public conservative figure. A versatile author, she is best known for her 1936 hit play The Women, which had an all-female cast. Her writings extended from drama and screen scenarios to fiction, journalism and war reportage. She was the wife of Henry Luce, publisher of Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated.

Born in New York City, parts of Boothe's childhood were spent in Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, Chicago, Illinois, and Union City, New Jersey as well as New York City. She attended the cathedral schools in Garden City and Tarrytown, New York, graduating first in her class in 1919 at 16. She wed George Tuttle Brokaw, millionaire heir to a New York clothing fortune, on August 10, 1923. According to Boothe, Brokaw was a hopeless alcoholic, and the marriage ended in divorce in 1929.

A writer with considerable powers of invention and wit, Boothe published Stuffed Shirts, a promising volume of short stories, in 1931. After the failure of her initial stage effort, the marital melodrama Abide With Me (1935), she rapidly followed up with a satirical comedy, The Women. Deploying a cast of no fewer than 40 actresses who discussed men in often scorching language, it became a Broadway smash in 1936 and, three years later, a successful Hollywood movie. On November 23, 1935, she married Henry Luce, thereafter calling herself Clare Boothe Luce.

A noted war journalist in the early days of World War II, in 1942, Luce won a Republican seat in the United States House of Representatives representing Fairfield County, Connecticut, the 4th Congressional District. In her youth, she briefly aligned herself with the liberalism of President Franklin Roosevelt as a protégé of Bernard Baruch; by the time of her election to the House, she had become an outspoken critic of Roosevelt. Although she was a strong supporter of the Anglo-American alliance in World War II, she remained outspokenly critical of British colonialism in India. Re-elected in 1944, Luce was instrumental in the creation of the Atomic Energy Commission in her second term and co-authored the Luce–Celler Act of 1946, which permitted Indians and Filipinos permission to immigrate to the US, introducing a quota of 100 immigrants from each country, and allowed them ultimately to become naturalized citizens. In January 1946 she declined to run for re-election and retired in January 1947.

Luce returned to politics during the 1952 presidential election and she campaigned on behalf of Republican candidate Dwight Eisenhower, giving more than 100 speeches on his behalf. Her anti-Communist speeches on the stump, radio, and television were effective in persuading a large number of traditionally Democratic-voting Catholics to switch parties and vote Eisenhower. For her contributions Luce was rewarded with an appointment as Ambassador to Italy. She was confirmed by the Senate in March 1953, the first American woman ever to hold such an important diplomatic post. She served in this role until 1957.

In 1959, Luce was confirmed overwhelmingly to become the U.S. Ambassador to Brazil but, following a bitter public exchange with Oregon Senator Wayne Morse that undermined her standing, she resigned her ambassadorship after just three days. The Luces then settled in Honolulu, Hawaii, where Clare remained after Henry’s death in 1967. In 1983 she accepted a post on President Ronald Reagan’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom as “a persistent and effective advocate of freedom, both at home and abroad.” After a long battle with cancer, Clare Boothe Luce died on October 9, 1987, in Washington, DC.

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referencedIn Papers of Doris Stevens, 1884-1983 (inclusive), 1920-1960 (bulk) Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
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referencedIn Papers, 1821-1961 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
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creatorOf Luce, Clare Boothe, 1903-1987. The Clare Boothe Luce theatre collection Catholic University of America
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referencedIn Papers, 1899-1999 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
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creatorOf Hayward, Lillie. Clare Boothe's Margin for error : screen play / by Lillie Hayward. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
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creatorOf Clare Boothe Luce Papers, 1862-1988, (bulk 1930-1987) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
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referencedIn Eleanor M. Tilton Papers, 1770-1991 Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
creatorOf Vorys, John Martin, 1896-1968. Papers 1921-1968. Ohio History Connection, Ohio Historical Society
referencedIn Visual materials from the papers of Clare Boothe Luce., ca. 1860-1981, bulk 1935-1966 Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division
referencedIn Yale in World War II collection, 1938-1946 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Swanson, Gloria. Papers. Series II. Career, ca. 1914-1983. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
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creatorOf Luce, Clare Boothe, 1903-1987. The women, [19--] / by Clare Boothe Luce. Ohio State University Libraries
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correspondedWith Barrie, Michael person
associatedWith Bartlett, Eliot F. person
associatedWith Barton, Bruce, 1886-1967. person
correspondedWith Baruch, Bernard M. (Bernard Mannes), 1870-1965 person
correspondedWith Benton, William, 1900-1973 person
associatedWith Berman, Eugene, 1899- person
correspondedWith Bernays, Edward L., 1891-1995. person
associatedWith Bismarck, Mona Strader, 1897-1983. person
associatedWith Blackford, Staige D. (Staige Davis), 1898-1949. person
associatedWith Bowen, Roy H., 1912- person
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correspondedWith Brown, John Mason, 1900-1969 person
correspondedWith Brown, John Mason, 1900-1969 person
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correspondedWith Buckley, William F. (William Frank), 1925-2008 person
correspondedWith Buell, Raymond Leslie, 1896-1946. person
associatedWith Burch, Dean, 1927- person
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associatedWith Catholic Church. corporateBody
correspondedWith Chávez, Carlos, 1899-1978 person
correspondedWith Chiang, May-ling Soong, 1897-2003 person
associatedWith Childs, Marquis William, 1903- person
correspondedWith Cline, Ray S. person
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associatedWith Created bvy Allen Morris person
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correspondedWith Davenport, Russell W. (Russell Wheeler), 1899-1954 person
associatedWith Dodd, Thomas J. (Thomas Joseph), 1907-1971 person
correspondedWith Dodd, Thomas J. (Thomas Joseph), 1907-1971 person
correspondedWith Doris Stevens person
associatedWith Eastman, Max, 1883-1969 person
associatedWith Eccles, Mary Hyde. person
associatedWith Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969. person
correspondedWith Forceville, Clarita de person
associatedWith Ford, John, 1895-1973 person
associatedWith Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983 person
associatedWith Gard, Wayne, 1899-, person
associatedWith Gordon, Max, 1892- person
associatedWith Graves, Robert Windham, 1858-1934 person
correspondedWith Harvard Law School Forum corporateBody
associatedWith Hatch, Alden, 1898-1975. person
associatedWith Hatch, Allene Gaty. person
correspondedWith Heard, Gerald, 1889-1971 person
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associatedWith Hobson, Laura Keane Zametkin. person
correspondedWith Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966 person
associatedWith Kendall, Messmore, 1872-1959, person
correspondedWith Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 person
correspondedWith Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 person
correspondedWith Kennedy, Joseph P. (Joseph Patrick), 1888-1969 person
associatedWith Kerr, Walter F., 1913-1966. person
associatedWith Kingsbury, Gilbert W., 1909- person
associatedWith Kirstein, Lincoln, 1907-1996. person
associatedWith Kitchelt, Florence Ledyard Cross, 1874-1961. person
correspondedWith Kittleman, Marjorie Wolf person
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employeeOf LIFE Magazine corporateBody
associatedWith Lila Hotz Luce Tyng person
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correspondedWith Lodge, John Davis, 1903-1985 person
associatedWith Lord, James. person
memberOf Luce family. family
spouseOf Luce, Henry Robinson, 1898-1967. person
associatedWith Luter, John, person
correspondedWith Malik, Charles Habib, 1906-1987. person
correspondedWith Mangan, Sherry, 1904- person
correspondedWith Manning, Robert, 1919- person
associatedWith Marks, Robert W. person
correspondedWith Martin, Joseph W. (Joseph William), 1884-1968 person
associatedWith Matthews, J. B. (Joseph Brown), 1894-1966 person
associatedWith Mielziner, Jo, 1901-1976 person
associatedWith Minow, Newton N., 1926-. person
associatedWith Monterey Public Library. California History Room. corporateBody
associatedWith Morin, Ann Miller person
correspondedWith Morton, Ruth person
associatedWith Murphy, Frank, 1890-1949 person
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associatedWith Nast, Condé, 1873-1942. person
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associatedWith New Yorker Magazine, Inc corporateBody
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associatedWith Nisbet, Robert A. person
correspondedWith Obermer, Nesta person
associatedWith Obshchestvo Pomoshchi Russkim Deti︠a︡m za Rubezhom. person
associatedWith Osborn, Stellanova, 1894-1988. person
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associatedWith Parsons, Geoffrey, 1879-1956. person
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associatedWith Pittman, Hobson Lafayette, 1899 or 1900-1972. person
associatedWith Raphaelson, Samson, 1896-1983. person
associatedWith Rayburn, Sam, 1882-1961 person
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correspondedWith Rogers, Elizabeth Cobb Chapman person
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associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
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associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Sheed and Ward (Firm) corporateBody
correspondedWith Sheen, Fulton J. (Fulton John), 1895-1979 person
correspondedWith Sherwood, Robert E. (Robert Emmet), 1896-1955 person
correspondedWith Skouras, Spyros Panagiotes, 1893-1971 person
associatedWith Smith, Franklin B. person
correspondedWith Streit, Clarence K. (Clarence Kirshman), 1896-1986 person
associatedWith Sullivan, Mark, 1874-1952. person
associatedWith Swanson, Gloria. person
associatedWith Thompson, Dorothy, 1893-1961 person
associatedWith Tilton, Eleanor M. (Eleanor Marguerite), 1913- person
associatedWith Time, inc. corporateBody
memberOf United States. Congress. House person
associatedWith United States. Congress. House. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Dept. of State. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. corporateBody
correspondedWith Vandenberg, Arthur H. (Arthur Hendrick), 1884-1951 person
associatedWith Vernon, Mabel. person
associatedWith Vidal, Gore, 1925- person
correspondedWith Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949 person
employeeOf Vogue (magazine) corporateBody
associatedWith Vorys, John Martin, 1896-1968. person
correspondedWith Waldeck, R. G. (Rosie Goldschmidt), 1898-1982 person
correspondedWith Waldo, George C. (George Curtis), 1888-1956 person
associatedWith White, Harriet Lancashire, person
associatedWith Williams, Charl Ormond, 1885-1969. person
associatedWith Williams, Tennessee, 1911-1983 person
associatedWith Willkie, Wendell L. (Wendell Lewis), 1892-1944. person
associatedWith Wilma Scott Heide, 1921-1985 person
correspondedWith Wisdom, William B., 1900-1977 person
correspondedWith Wolf, Herman. person
correspondedWith Woollcott, Alexander, 1887-1943 person
correspondedWith Wrigley, Helen person
associatedWith Younger, J. Arthur (Jesse Arthur), 1893-1967. person
correspondedWith Zanuck, Darryl Francis, 1902-1979 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Garden City (N.Y.) NY US
District of Columbia DC US
Greenwich CT US
Tarrytown NY US
Nashville TN US
Memphis TN US
Honolulu HI US
Berkeley County SC US
New York City NY US
Chicago IL US
Union City NJ US
Rome 07 IT
Subject
Theater--History--20th century--Sources
Presidents--Election--1940
Presidents--Election--1952
Ambassadors--Interviews
Internal security--United States
Christmas cards
Journalists
Diplomatic and consular service, American
Playwriting
Periodical editors
Women--Political activity--Interviews
Internal security
Women in public life
Intelligence service--United States
National security--United States
Periodicals--Publishing
Diplomacy
Communism
Intelligence service
Women in public life--Interviews
Diplomatic and consular service, American--Italy
National security
International relations
Presidents--United States--Election--1940
Arts
Authors
Conversion
Military readiness
American drama--20th century
World War, 1939-1945--Journalists
Women--Political activity
Religion
Occupation
Representatives, U.S. Congress--Connecticut
Women journalists--United States
War correspondents
Women legislators--United States
Women periodical editors--United States
Dramatists
Converts, Catholic--United States
Women ambassadors--United States
Diplomats
Women dramatists, American
Collector
Journalists
Activity

Person

Birth 1903-03-10

Death 1987-10-09

Female

Americans

English,

Portuguese

Information

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Ark ID: w6t54jdh

SNAC ID: 85431957