Philip Ludwell Leidy (1897-1964): Catherine’s first husband

Philip was a lawyer from a wealthy, socially prominent Philadelphia family.  He grand-uncle was the renowned naturalist Joseph Leidy and his mother was one of the founders of the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company.  While Philip shared his mother’s love of opera, he was also drawn to the “less respectable” arts and his habit of romancing nightclub singers and dancers unsettled his family.  Catherine was Philip’s third of four wives and by all accounts they were in love and well-matched.  She adored Paris and he collected all things Napoleon; they both were bright, sophisticated and inquisitive.  Philip financed the Philadelphia Ballet Company and handled its legal affairs.  A neurological illness gradually debilitated him and he and Catherine divorced, mainly because he did not want to burden her.  The two remained devoted, however, even after both married others.

 

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