Letitia Baldridge, The Great Kennedy White House Social Secretary, Passes

by Sophie Pyle · November 1, 2012

Letitia Baldridge will forever go down in history as one of the greatest American etiquette experts, ranking right up there with Emily Post. She passed away at the age of 86 on Monday, and will forever be remembered as Jackie Kennedy's White House social secretary and the "Doyenne of Decorum."

Letitia, known as "Tish," published about 20 etiquette books over the course of her lifetime. She got her start as social secretary for the US Ambassador to France, David Bruce, and after that, was the secretary in Rome for the US Ambassador to Italy, Clare Booth Luce, then was the PR director for Tiffany's.

This thoughtful piece in today's Reliable Source delves into her role as a fairy godmother to her successors, and her grudge against clinking glasses.

In 1960, Jackie Kennedy called her up to offer her the position of White House social secretary, and she spent three years overseeing the glittery balls, galas and dinners of the Kennedy White House.

Jackie and Tish were classmates at Miss Porter's School and at Vassar College.

Today, Jeremy Bernard is the White House social secretary. He broke barriers by becoming the first male to have the job.

[photo via]