|Alva Smith Vanderbilt Belmont ~ Circa 1919|
"First marry for money, then marry for love" once said Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, referring to her first marriage to William K. Vanderbilt and then her later marriage to Oliver Belmont. Alva was perhaps one of the greatest socialites of all-time, even managing to trump over THE Mrs. Astor, who ruled New York's elite for decades. Never caring much for jewels, costumes or perfume, Alva won her title with her great passion for fabulous architecture, a love which she shared with her friend and architect Richard Morris Hunt. Commissioning her friend to design and build the grandest home in New York, she lived in equally palatial homes in Newport, Long Island, Paris and Washington DC.
Click HERE for a fantastic story about this amazing woman, who spent her young life overcoming society and later turned to women's suffrage.