Helen Hope Montgomery Scott

Helen Hope Montgomery Scott (April 8, 1904 – January 9, 1995)[1] was a socialite and philanthropist whom Vanity Fair once called "the unofficial queen of Philadelphia's WASP oligarchy." She is most famous as the inspiration for Tracy Lord, the main character in the Philip Barry play The Philadelphia Story, which was made into the film of the same name as well as the musical film High Society.[2] Scott was a longtime chairman and executive director of the Devon Horse Show and sponsored other events to raise money for the Bryn Mawr Hospital, her favorite charity. She was considered the epitome of Main Line high society and symbol of an aristocratic, free-spirited elegance.

Hope Scott was one of the four children of Colonel Robert Leaming Montgomery, who founded the investment firm known today as Janney Montgomery Scott. Her mother was Charlotte Hope Binney Tyler Montgomery, whose family had made its fortune in banking. In 1923, Helen Hope Montgomery married Edgar Scott, an investment banker and heir to a railroad fortune. After her marriage, Scott began to appear regularly on the New York Couture Group's annual list of best-dressed women. Her beauty and slim, angular figure (size eight throughout her life) was much admired, inspiring artists such as Cecil Beaton and Augustus John. Scott became famous for hosting lavish parties at Ardrossan, the Montgomerys' 750-acre (3.0 km2) estate in Radnor, Pennsylvania, where she entertained notables of society, government, and the arts, including W. Averell Harriman, Cole Porter, and Katharine Hepburn. Her son, Robert Montgomery Scott, was also a philanthropist, and after a long legal career served as president of the Academy of Music and, even more visibly, the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


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