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Mary Benedict Cushing

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Nationality  American

Name  Mary Cushing
Mary Benedict Cushing Elisa Rolles Blog Mary Benedict Cushing January 27 1906
Full Name  Mary Benedict Cushing
Born  January 27, 1906 (1906-01-27)
Residence  32 East 64th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan, New York City
Relatives  William Harvey Cushing (brother) Henry Kirke Cushing (brother) Betsey Cushing (sister) Barbara Cushing (sister)
Died  November 6, 1978, New York City, New York, United States
Spouse  James Whitney Fosburgh (m. 1953–1978), Vincent Astor (m. 1940–1953)
Siblings  Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney, Babe Paley, Henry Kirke Cushing, William Harvey Cushing
Parents  Katharine Crowell Cushing, Harvey Cushing
Grandparents  Kirke Cushing, Bessie Williams
Similar People  Betsey Cushing Roosevel, Vincent Astor, Harvey Cushing, Babe Paley, Brooke Astor

Mary Benedict "Minnie" Cushing (January 27, 1906 – November 6, 1978) was an American socialite, philanthropist and art collector.


Early life

Mary Benedict Cushing was the eldest daughter of Harvey Williams Cushing (1869–1939) and Katharine Stone Crowell. Her father, a pioneering neurosurgeon, was the first person to describe Cushing's disease, and who, along with Ernest Sachs, is known as the "father of neurosurgery."

Her two sisters, also prominent socialites, were Betsey Maria Cushing (1908–1998), who was married to James Roosevelt II and later to John Hay Whitney, and Barbara Cushing (1915–1978), who married Stanley Grafton Mortimer, Jr. and later William S. Paley. She also had two brothers, William Harvey Cushing and Henry Kirke Cushing.

Personal life

In 1940, she married for the first time to William Vincent Astor (1891–1959), son of Colonel John Jacob Astor IV and Ava Lowle Willing. It was Astor's second marriage, his first to Helen Dinsmore Huntington, ended in divorce, also in 1940. They were divorced in 1953.

Later in 1953, she married her second husband, the painter James Whitney Fosburgh (1910–1978). Together, they amassed a significant art collection known for its notable paintings, including works by Paul Cézanne, Winslow Homer, William Nicholson, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Walter Sickert, and Pavel Tchelitchew.

Mary died on November 6, 1978.


She was a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York City Center, and was on the board of the Yale Art Gallery. She was also a major supporter of the American National Theater and Academy and the Henry Street Settlement. During World War II she was a leader in the Ship Service Committee and New York City War Fund.


Mary Benedict Cushing Wikipedia