Betsy Bloomingdale, widow of department store heir Alfred Bloomingdale, has died at the age of 93. She died on July 19.
She was one of Nancy Reagan's closest friends, while her husband was considered one of Ronald Reagan's "kitchen cabinet."
Betsy was a hell of a lot better than her husband, Alfred. He was a goddamned sadomasochistic perv and cheat, which came out after he died in 1982 in a major scandal. Since presumably Betsy didn't share in his perversions, by around 1970 he decided to look elsewhere. He couldn't find women remotely close to his own age to indulge in his sexual kinks, so he came across a young woman--a teenager, a child, you might say--named Vicki Morgan (1952-1983), an usher at the fabled Grauman's Chinese Theater. Since she had few economic options other than being some perv's girl toy, she got involved with that creep. She had herself and a young son to support after all.
For many years Vicki enjoyed the jet set lifestyle Alfred provided. She met all the right people, and she received jewelry, cars, and homes. She overlooked whatever Alfred wanted to do in the sack, but eventually the gravy train ended for her when Alfred was dying of cancer. By this time Betsy found out about her husband's mistress. She demanded he break it off. The spigot was shut off, and Vicki had to sell many items Alfred had given to her over the years. Alfred died in 1982. Things were getting desperate for Vicki, so she tried to sue for financial compensation. What eventually happened was Vicki met one Marvin Pancoast, a loser just like her, in rehab. She turned tricks and he turned to drugs and violence. One night, he went off the deep end and killed Vicki with a baseball bat.
The scandal made headlines all over the world.
Betsy, however, emerged with her reputation intact.
She was well liked by those who knew her:
In a statement posted on Facebook, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation said it was "saddened by the news" of Bloomingdale's death. The foundation noted the she was "one of Mrs. Reagan's closest friends. … Speaking of that friendship, Mrs. Reagan described President Reagan's first inauguration in her book 'My Turn' writing, "Just before Ronnie appeared, I looked around and caught the eye of my friend Betsy Bloomingdale. She started to cry, and naturally I did too. ... I'll never forget Bets's face at that moment, and I'm sure she'll never forget mine. I know we were both thinking the same thought - that from now on it would never be the same again."