Eleonora Sears was an American tennis player of the interwar period. She was also a champion squash player, and prominent in other sports. In 1917, she met actress Eva Le Gallienne while in New York to attend the theater. Then in 1922, while in Paris, she met Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, and David Windsor, Prince of Wales and future King of England. Among her friends and lovers were Isabel Pell, Mercedes de Acosta, Isadora Duncan, Alla Nazimova, Tallulah Bankhead, Greta Garbo, and Marlene Dietrich. Eleanor Roosevelt was one of Eleo’s close friends. As Eleo aged, a Frenchwoman, Marie Gendron, often called “Madame”, took her up. She seduced the older woman and then started isolating her from old friends and relatives. Soon Madame and Eleo were living the high life in Palm Beach, with only each other’s company. By 1965, she had Eleo’s power of attorney, and was running the household and stables. Eleo died in 1968 at the age of 86. Her will had donated to six hospitals, all of which she had helped in the past; the rest of her estate was to go to Madame, who tried to cut the hospitals out of the gifts. Madame lost in court and was left with “only” $40 million.
Together from (before) 1965 to 1968: 3 years
Eleonora Randolph Sears (September 28, 1881 – March 16, 1968)
Madame Marie V. Gendron (July 22, 1903 - January 26, 2004)
Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: September 21, 2014
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Eleanora Randolph Sears (1881-1968), great-great-great granddaughter of President Thomas Jefferson and who pioneered women in professional sports as a champion tennis player, golfer and equestrian, is buried inside the Sears Family Crypt, Walnut Hills Cemetery (96 Grove St, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467). In her last years she was living in Florida with Marie V. Gendron (1903-2004), “Madame”. Gendron is buried at Clearwater Municipal Cemetery (1300 S Myrtle Ave, Clearwater, FL 33756).
Queer Places, Vol. 1 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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