Etiquette Icon Letitia Baldrige Passes At Age 86


We can all learn a little from the late 'Doyenne of Decorum.'

If you've become a cultural icon, landed a Time magazine cover and rubbed shoulders with the Kennedys, you've pretty much made it, right? Well, we each have our different definitions of success, but you can't deny that etiquette guru Letitia Baldrige made a pretty impressive impact. Sadly, Baldrige has passed away at age 86, leaving some pretty huge shoes to fill (and I'm not just saying that because she stood 6'1").

Baldrige reinvented herself professionally three times: First as a public relations director for Tiffany & Company, then as the White House's social secretary in the early 1960s (she was tapped by childhood friend Jackie O), and finally as a prominent author, columnist and editor of modern etiquette. Her love life was heartening too — she married a real estate developer one year after leaving her stint at the White House. According to this article in the New York Times, that would make her at least 36 — which was considered later in life for that era. She still managed to have two kids — and seven grandchildren! (Hero status.)

It's a shame, though, that we never asked Baldrige to offer us some of her best dating rules. We never even got the chance run one of our favorite articles by her: The Etiquette of Oral Sex. I can't help wondering what the prim and proper Baldrige would have to say about that one — assuming she is prim and proper, that is. It probably wouldn't have been very polite to ask...

Tell us, are you an etiquette nerd? What 'rules' are you a stickler for?

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