Cimetiere de Passy Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
James Gordon Bennett Jr. (May 10, 1841 – May 14, 1918) was publisher of the New York Herald, founded by his father, James Gordon Bennett Sr. (1795–1872), who emigrated from Scotland. He was generally known as Gordon Bennett to distinguish him from his father. Among his many sports-related accomplishments he organized both the first polo match and the first tennis match in the United States, and he personally won the first trans-oceanic yacht race. He sponsored explorers including Henry Morton Stanley's trip to Africa to find David Livingstone, and the ill-fated USS Jeannette attempt on the North Pole.
Bennett, like many of his social class, indulged in the "good life": yachts, opulent private railroad cars, and lavish mansions. He was the youngest Commodore ever of the New York Yacht Club.
He often scandalized society with his flamboyant and sometimes erratic behavior. In 1877, he left New York for Europe after an incident that ended his engagement to socialite Caroline May. According to various accounts, he arrived late and drunk to a party at the May family mansion, then urinated into a fireplace (some say grand piano) in full view of his hosts.
Bennett's controversial reputation has been thought to have inspired, in the United Kingdom, the phrase "Gordon Bennett" as an expression of incredulity.
Settling in Paris, he launched the Paris edition of the New York Herald, named The Paris Herald, the forerunner of the International Herald Tribune. He backed George W. De Long's voyage to the North Pole on the USS Jeannette via the Bering Strait. The ill-fated expedition led to the deaths from starvation of DeLong and 19 of his crew, a tragedy that only increased the paper's circulation. He was a co-founder of the Commercial Cable Company, a venture to break the Transatlantic cable monopoly held by Jay Gould.
He did not marry until he was 73. His wife was Maud Potter, widow of George de Reuter, son of Julius Paul Reuter, founder of Reuters news agency. He died on May 14, 1918 in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Alpes-Maritimes, France. Bennett is buried at the Cimetière de Passy.
James Stillman was an intimate friend of James O. Bloss and John William Sterling. After the death of Bennett it was learned by the administrators of his estate that he had appointed Stillman one of the administrators and trustees. Stillman had little or no opportunity to act under the authority of Bennett's will, as he died a few weeks after Bennett's death. Stillman named Sterling one of his executors. Sterling could hardly have begun his duties under Stillman's will when he too died suddenly. The Bennett estate, the Stillman estate and the Sterling estate totaled about $76,000,000. After Sterling's death it was learned that he had appointed his long time intimate companion, Bloss, one of the executors. And a few weeks after Sterling's death, Bloss died.
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