Perle Reid <I>Skirvin</I> Mesta

Perle Reid Skirvin Mesta

Sturgis, St. Joseph County, Michigan, USA
Death 16 Mar 1975 (aged 92)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, USA
Burial Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Section 21, Lot 21 George Mesta Mausoleum
Memorial ID 10169 · View Source
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American socialite, political hostess, and U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg. Daughter of William Balser Skirvin, a wealthy Oklahoma oilman and founder of the Skirvin Hotel. Widow of George Mesta, an Italian-American businessman. Commonly referred to as the "Hostess with the Mostest", she always had a large interest in politics. Maintaining intimate friendships with First Ladies Bess Truman and Mamie Eisenhower and with Rose Kennedy, she grew up a republican. As a girl she attended the Republican conventions with her father, later, though, she married Mesta, who brought her to Democratic conventions and left her a fortune in 1962. It was at her friend President Harry Truman's request that she serve as ambassador to Luxembourg, the first one to serve full-time. Despite the large part she played on the political scene, Mesta was probably most know for her lavish and extravagant parties, which brought together politicians from both parties in bipartisan soirées of high-class glamour. Whether entertaining at her luxurious penthouse atop the Sheraton Park Hotel, her colonial home in Oklahoma or at her 32-room, seaside mansion, 'Midclyffe', in Newport, Rhode Island, her official voting residence, the event was sure to be a hit. Her secret, she revealed once, was "cool guests, cool music, hot food and a warm hostess". Switching back to the Republican party in 1961, she announced to society that she was backing candidate Richard Nixon. Attending his inaugural ball in 1969, she continued to entertain lavishly and expensively at her three homes for another fourteen years, her two fortunes providing for such excess. Dying in her eighty-sixth year, a musical production and movie was later made focusing her life, called "Call Me Madam". She had been inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1951.

Bio by: John Astor

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 26 Jun 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 10169
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Perle Reid Skirvin Mesta (12 Oct 1882–16 Mar 1975), Find a Grave Memorial no. 10169, citing Homewood Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .