TABLE OF CONTENTS
Sloan Simpson papers
Elizabeth Laurenson Simpson was born to Eleanora Myer Simpson and William Sloan Simpson in Dallas, Texas on October 18, 1916. Known as Betty during her childhood, she grew up in Highland Park, Texas, a town in the Dallas suburbs. William Simpson, a colonel in the U.S. Army, served with President Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War. He participated in the Battle of San Juan Hill. Simpson's grandfather, John R. Simpson, founded the Exchange Bank, which became the First National Bank of Texas.
During her childhood, Simpson studied at the Sacred Heart Convent in the Torresdale neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the Beard School (now Morristown-Beard School) in Orange, New Jersey. She graduated from Highland Park High School in University Park, Texas. Simpson then completed her undergraduate studies at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri
Simpson worked as a TV and radio personality. In December 1953, she began hosting a radio program titled The Sloan Simpson Show on WOR, a radio station in New York City. The 25-minute talk show, which aired on weekday evenings at 9:05 pm, discussed fashion, current events, and celebrity gossip. The show aired nationally on the Mutual Broadcasting System, a national radio network, from 1954-1955. Simpson's TV show with the same name, which ran on WOR-TV, began in January 1954. WOR-TV canceled the show in April of that year. Simpson also made guest appearances on other TV programs, including Leave It to the Girls (a talk show), Let's Take Sides (a debate show), and One Minute Please (a quiz show).
During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Simpson starred in roles in film and on TV. She played the character, Harriet Byrne, in the 1960 movie The Pusher. Simpson also made guest appearances on The Phil Silvers Show on CBS-TV and Naked City on ABC-TV.
After working as a fashion model for the John Powers agency, Simpson served as a fashion coordinator for Stern's, a regional chain of department stores in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. She then served as a fashion consultant for the Flemington Fur Company. Simpson supervised the company's fashion shows in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
In 1960, Simpson moved from the U.S. to Acapulco, a coastal city in Mexico near the Pacific Ocean. She worked as a clerk in a hotel dress shop. Simpson then served as a correspondent for Women's Wear Daily, a fashion magazine, and she worked as a tour representative for Braniff International Airways. Known by the community as the "First Lady of Acapulco," Simpson also ran a boutique.
Simpson married Carroll Dewey Hipp on November 10, 1938. After divorcing Hipp on September 23, 1943, she married O'Dwyer on December 20, 1949. O'Dwyer's aids received 250 telegrams of congratulation on the couple's wedding day, including one from President Harry Truman. Sent from Air Force One, Truman's telegram read, "Hearty greetings to you and to the woman of your choice and best wishes for long years of happiness." Simpson and O'Dwyer divorced in 1953. Sloan Simpson died in Dallas on November 22, 1996.
The collection is comprised of primarily photographs from Sloan Simpson's modeling career, magazine clippings, newspaper clippings, letters, advertisements, four scrapbooks, photographs taken by her father. Scrapbooks consist of childhood photographs and photographs from WWI.
Collection is open for research use.
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Collection of the Dallas Historical Society, Sloan Simpson Papers.
Gifted to the Dallas Historical Society by Thomas and Anna Bentson.
The collection is unprocessed and has been rehoused in acid-free folders.