Mary Landon Baker: Even 65 Proposals Couldn’t Get Her To Marry

Mary Landon Baker. Source: The New York Times

Mary Landon Baker was a wealthy American socialite and heiress who gained fame for her romantic life.

Her father was the wealthy financier Alfred Landon Baker who was a prominent figure in Chigago’s commercial and philanthropic communities.

She was born on August 15, 1901, and passed away in 1961.

Newspapers around the world followed the drama around her love life. Special attention was awarded to her romance with between Baker and her fiancé Allister McCormick.

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To pursue her and help her tie the know he purchased a Cartier sapphire engagement ring, mountain of wedding gifts (valued at $100,000), and around a thousand guests who attended their first ceremony.

It was no use, however. Baker left McCormick at the altar and was named the “shy wife” for her refusal to get married.

Throughout the 1920s, Baker supposedly received 65 marriage proposals from men on different continents, including an English Lord, an Irish prince, a Spaniard of means and a Yugoslav diplomat.

The media speculated that she was a Femme Fatale or seriously shy but her father suggested that she was enjoying playing the field and simply adored her freedom to settle down.

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Baker was also rumored to have been linked to the late actor Barry Baxter. Baxter was a rising star at the time, starring in several theater plays.

According to a sensationalist article that was published at the time in the New York Times, his collapse happened at the same day that Mary Landon Baker decided to end their relationship.

Barry Baxter, one of Baker’s rumored fiancée’s. Source: THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

After her father died in 1927, Baker no longer had to marry to receive financial independence – she had inherited a fortune and secured her future.

As a result, she kept rejecting marriage proposals claiming she hasn’t found the “right man” yet.

It is estimated that she has turned down over 65 proposals in her life time.

Mary Landon Baker. Source: National Portrait Gallery

Despite being a popular subject of gossip in newspapers worldwide, Baker lived a private life and remained unmarried until her death.

She passed away in 1961, at age 61.

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