Lila Hotz Luce Tyng

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Lila Ross Hotz was born 26 March 1899 in Chicago to Lila Frances Ross/Hotz and Robert Schuttler Hotz, Sr. She attended Miss Spence’s School in New York City 1914-1918. The mother and daughter were extremely close. “Muddie,” as Lila called her mother, lived with Lila from about 1950 until her death in 1964. Lila’s father died young. When he was on his deathbed in the summer of 1918, the year she graduated from Spence, she came home and enrolled at the Moser school, learning the practical skills of typing and shorthand. After his death on 25 Aug 1918, she slowly stopped writing in the diary she had kept so exuberantly for years, and for three weeks it is blank. After her father’s death, her mother married Frederick T. Haskell.

Lila married Henry Robinson Luce (HRL) on 22 December 1923; they were divorced in September 1935. They had two sons: Henry Luce, b. 28 April 1925, and Peter Paul Luce, b. 18 May 1929. During the marriage HRL was a founder of TIME and Fortune magazines. In 1935 HRL contracted to have a beautiful French-chateau style home built on a large estate in Gladstone, New Jersey. It was named Lu Shan – Chinese for “Luce Mountain” -- at the suggestion of HRL’s father, Henry Winters Luce, (HWL) who, with his wife Elizabeth Root Luce (ERL), spent many years in China. HRL apparently never lived at Lu Shan; he and Clare Boothe Brokaw married in November of 1935.

For many years Lila’s habit was to spend the week in New York at her Park Avenue apartment and the weekend at Lu Shan, where her sons lived when they were not at boarding school. Lu Shan was not only an elegant home staffed to care for the family; for years it was a fully staffed working farm, as is witnessed by a newspaper article ca. 1940 on the extremely productive Lu Shan dairy cows.

In 1939 Lila married Sewell Tyng, a staff attorney for then governor of New York, Thomas Dewey. They lived in Ecuador, where Tyng had business interests, for most of 1939-41. In 1943, she divorced Tyng, but she kept his name for the rest of her life. Lila lived primarily at Lu Shan in later years, maintaining her travels and social life and entertaining her many guests with elan and energy.

Lila Tyng was a socialite; her time, energy and money went into the enjoyment of her own social life and into work for the benefit of others. A poet, a ballroom dancer, and a world traveler from her early years, she was always a great lover of life. With her irrepressible spirit, no matter what curves life threw her, she seemed to make a quick and buoyant recovery. In the twenty-eight boxes of correspondence, notes, poems and stories here, written over the span of eighty-five years, the most diligent searcher will be hard pressed to find a bitter or angry word. Lila Tyng maintained friendly relations with her ex-husbands.

She even seems somehow to have accepted HRL’s dilemma when he fell for “the other woman,” Clare Boothe. HRL fulfilled his responsibility to her and the boys in the way that he could: by providing for them handsomely. Lila, for her part, maintained a great affection for HRL throughout his life (he died in 1967), corresponding with him and saving souvenirs of his astounding and repeated successes. He thanked her not long before his death for her consideration of CBL and for having “never fanned the flames of gossip.” Lila maintained cordial if limited communication with CBL, who died in 1987, and continued to admire and respect HRL’s memory until her own death in 1999.

From the guide to the Papers, 1899-1999, (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Papers, 1899-1999 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Luce, Clare Boothe, 1903-1987 person
associatedWith Luce, Henry Robinson, 1898-1967 person
associatedWith Spence School corporateBody
associatedWith Tyng, Sewell T. (Sewell Tappan), 1895-1946 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Mothers and daughters


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