Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend

About the Author

Meryl Gordon is the author of the New York Times best-selling Mrs. Astor Regrets and Wall Street Journal bestseller Phantom of Fifth Avenue. She is an award-winning journalist and a regular contributor to Vanity Fair. She is on the graduate journalism faculty at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She is considered an expert on elder abuse and has appeared on NPR, CNN, and other outlets whenever there is a high-profile case.

Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend

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Meryl Gordon

A new biography of Bunny Mellon, the style icon and American aristocrat who designed the White House Rose Garden for her friend JFK and served as a living witness to 20th-century American history, operating in the high-level arenas of politics, diplomacy, art, and fashion.


Rachel Lambert “Bunny” Mellon, who died in 2014 at age 103, and her husband Paul were among the most generous donors to the National Gallery of Art. Though Bunny was press-shy during her lifetime, with the cooperation of her family, author Meryl Gordon received access to thousands of pages of her letters, diaries, and appointment calendars and has interviewed more than 175 people to capture the spirit of this talented American original.

  • Hardcover
  • 528 pages
  • Published: 2017

Editorial Reviews

"Jacqueline Kennedy looked up to her socially. President Kennedy counted on her good taste to design the Rose Garden. Rachel 'Bunny' Mellon lived in a world ardently protected by discreet guards, long driveways, and noble family retainers. Thanks to Meryl Gordon we get past them." —Chris Matthews, anchor, MSNBC's Hardball, and author of Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero

"With an eye for telling detail balanced by nuanced understanding, Meryl Gordon explores Bunny Mellon's impeccably designed homes and gardens as well as the marital deceptions, family tragedies, intense friendships, and political intrigues. A tale of surprising creativity and resilience." —Sally Bedell Smith, author of Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life

"Meryl Gordon's heroic reporting and shrewd insights have given us a fully drawn portrait of one of the 20th century's most compelling figures, by turns warmhearted and cold-blooded, coping with an emptiness no treasure chests of jewels and art could fill." —Jeff Greenfield, author of If Kennedy Lived

"Meryl Gordon's enchanting story takes us deep inside a lost world of taste and class-a world, as Caroline Kennedy said of Bunny Mellon's life, that was 'beautiful, well-built, and infinitely interesting.'" —Jonathan Alter, author of The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies

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