Gloria Grazianna Victoria America <I>Caruso</I> Murray

Gloria Grazianna Victoria America Caruso Murray

Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 5 Dec 1999 (aged 79)
Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 151353540 · View Source
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Gloria Grazianna Victoria America Murray, 79, of Jacksonville, Florida, died Sunday, December 5, 1999 at St. Luke's Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. She died of cancer, said Aldo Mancusi, curator of the Caruso Museum in Brooklyn, New York. She was born Thursday, December 18, 1919 to Enrico Kerido, Sr. and Dorothy Park "Doro" (nee Benjamin) Caruso at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Manhattan, New York.

Only hours after his daughter's birth, Enrico, then the most famous operatic tenor in the world, exuberantly tossed the girl into the air, peered into her mouth and announced, ''Ah, she has the vocal cords, just like her daddy!'' In September of 1920, they moved to the Vanderbilt Hotel at Park Avenue and 34th Street. They moved into the former Vanderbilt Suite, which encompassed the entire eighteenth floor. In the spring of 1921, they left the Vanderbilt for Italy. They had everything crated up and shipped to Naples, Italy. On August 21, 1921 the tenor died in Naples, Italy - a loss that nourished a popular fantasy that his child would also have an extraordinary voice.

At age 7, when she and her mother returned to New York from a vacation in Europe, a New York newspaper ran the headline ''Gloria Caruso, Here With a Voice'' and pronounced her ''a potential opera star of the first magnitude.'' The next year, at the age of eight, she made her first record. At 11, she made her first public appearance, delivering a radio address on behalf of a charity headed by President Herbert Hoover. Later that year she made a test recording for RCA Victor, and John McCormack, another renowned tenor, gave her singing lessons and announced that she had promise. The press had an immense appetite for even the slightest tidbits of news about the great Caruso's daughter. She had briefly tried to live up to the musical world's sentimental fantasy that she had inherited her father's vocal abilities. But it gradually became apparent that she did not have the voice to follow her father.

Matters were complicated because Enrico Kerido Caruso, Sr. had left no will. In 1928, a court in Trenton had ruled that Gloria Caruso was entitled to two-thirds of the royalties on her father's phonograph records, sold by the Victor Talking Machine Company. This was despite the Italian courts ruling, that she was entitled to one-half of the estate, the sum was estimated to be in excess of $1,000,000.

Gloria attended Miss Hewitt's Classes (The Hewitt School as of 1955) in New York City (on the Upper East Side), New York; the Ozanne School in Paris, France; The Bishop's School in La Jolla, California, and Misses Sheldon and Nixon School (an elite finishing school) in Florence, Italy.

In 1942, Ms. Murray told a reporter that she was studying art at the Art Students League in New York and that she had come to prefer the visual arts to music. ''I've always been torn between art and music,'' she said. ''Daddy drew and sculptured as a hobby. And Mommy draws. Art is as much in the family as singing.''

In 1943, Gloria married Ensign Michael Hunt Murray, who had left Harvard to become a naval aviator in World War II. The couple had two sons but later divorced.

Ms. Murray was a visual artist. She set up a studio in New York City where she painted both portraits and landscapes. Later she lived in Miami, Florida and, for the last ten years, in Jacksonville, Florida. Andrew Farkas, co-author with Enrico Caruso Jr. of ''Enrico Caruso: My Father and My Family'' (Amadeus Press, 1990), said that Ms. Murray's paintings were ''of good quality, although she sold very few.'' ''She became rather reclusive,'' Mr. Farkas said, adding, ''She had been answering questions about her father for a long time.'' Eric D. Murray, one of Ms. Murray's sons, said his mother had become occupied with managing the family estate after her mother died in 1955. She was living in Paris, France in 1955.

She was survived by two sons, Eric Dunmore Murray of Maryland,and Colin Duncan Alexander (Elizabeth Ann) Murray of Jacksonville, Florida; and a granddaughter, Lt. Col. Margaret Frances "Maggie" (John J.) Vencius, Home Of Record: Jacksonville, Florida

In marrying Caruso, her mother, an American named Dorothy Benjamin, created a tumult in 1918. Her father, Park Benjamin, a wealthy patent lawyer and New York society figure, fiercely opposed the match between his daughter, then 25, to Caruso, who was 45. After the couple eloped, Park Benjamin disowned her. When he died in 1925, he left her $1 from his substantial estate.

Mr. Farkas wrote that Enrico Caruso had four children from a relationship with Ada Giacchetti, a soprano who had left her husband to live with the tenor before his marriage to Miss Benjamin. Only one, Enrico Caruso Jr., sought a career as a singer. All are deceased.

Siblings: 1 Enrico Kerido Caruso, Sr.
2 Rodolfo Caruso
5 Gloria Caruso Murray (Michael Hunt Murray)
6 Jacqueline Dorothy Ingram b. 1924 (m. 6-9-1945 Ensign William Hamilton Porter,Jr., U. S. N.)

Sources: The Day, December 18, 1999, Section C, Page 4, Column 4, OBITUARIES, "Gloria Caruso Murray, 79, Artist and Tenor's Daughter" By William H. Honan; The Index Journal, Page 1, Column 4, "Gold For Gloria!", December 3, 1928;

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  • Created by: supermama5
  • Added: 28 Aug 2015
  • Find a Grave Memorial 151353540
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