Lord Beaverbrook’s favourite granddaughter, former Evening Standard New York correspondent Lady Jeanne Campbell, died more than three months ago. But it was only this week that the news was reported.
It was surprisingly the most unnoticed, and certainly the most unreported death. Campbell died in obscurity in New York’s Greenwich Village.
There was no obituary in the New York Times, or any other leading American newspaper. Not until it was reported, just this week, on a website devoted to news of New York socialites.
According to David Patrick Columbia, editor of the New York Social Diary website, Campbell was very ill and in some poverty when she died.
To her neighbours, she was just an old woman who lived modestly in a small walk-up apartment in an old brick townhouse. She slept in her last surviving treasure – a bed that once belonged to Napoleon.
But over the years, apart from being a well-known newswoman, Campbell was well known for her romances – ranging from Randolph Churchill, the son of British prime minister Winston, and Henry Luce Junior, founder of Time magazine, to such famous political figures as Fidel Castro and President John F Kennedy.
She was married twice – first to author Norman Mailer and then to John Sergeant Cram, a New York socialite.
Campbell was born in Scotland in 1928, son of playboy heir Ian Campbell, a member of the Duke of Argyll’s family. Her mother was Janet Aitken, daughter of Lord Beaverbrook.
An affair with Oswald Moseley, head of the British Fascist Party, so enraged her grandfather, he packed her off to New York as correspondent for the Evening Standard.
There, her amorous adventures continued – including her brief affair with Henry Luc, which ended when she met Norman Mailer. They had a child, Kate, but divorced a year later in 1993.
Although her many affairs supposedly angered her grandfather, Beaverbrook nevertheless remembered her in his will.
When he died in 1964, he left her $500,000 – not a lot, but enough to guarantee her independence for some years. She continued working for the Evening Standard for many years.
Campbell is survived by two daughters – both actresses – Kate Mailer and Cusi Cram.