Babe Paley Kids: Where are They Now?


In Hulu’s ‘Feud: Capote vs the Swans,’ a bitter battle ensues between Truman Capote and his beloved swans, whom he angers after writing about them in his upcoming book, whose excerpt is printed in Esquire. While there is a lot of furor over what Capote wrote, he reveals that there is so much that he’d left out, which was even more interesting than what he’d revealed to the world. He particularly focuses on his beloved friend, Babe Paley, and calls her motherhood into question.

Babe Paley had four two children, two from each marriage. Her first marriage with Stanley G. Mortimer, Jr. brought her Stanley III and Amanda. Her second marriage, with Bill Paley, brought her William and Kate. Over the years, her children have said that Babe “wasn’t the warmest person in the world,” with Amanda revealing that she wasn’t particularly close to her mother. What became of Babe Paley’s children?

Babe Paley’s Kids From the First Marriage

Babe’s first child, Stanley Grafton Mortimer III, born in 1942, went on to become a marketing company executive and had an illustrious career that brought him a lot of accolades. His academic streak led him from Harvard University in 1964 to the University of Virginia, from where he received a degree in law in 1967, to Columbia University in 1969, where he got his MBA. He married Siri Larsen in 1971, and they had two children, Tyler and Barbara.

He started working with Warner Communications in NYC in 1982 but left it to take the position of the Vice President and Chief Finance Officer of Forschner Group in Shelton, Connecticut, in 1984. He later climbed the ladder, becoming senior vice president, executive vice president, and then entering the board of directors. Apart from this, he also served as a trustee of the New York Public Library from 1976 to 1984 and has been its honorary trustee since.

Babe’s second child, Amanda Burden, lives in New York and serves as the principal of Bloomberg Associates, “an international philanthropic consulting service founded by Michael Bloomberg that helps mayors around the world improve the quality of life of their citizens.” Amanda has an illustrious academic record of her own— a Master of Science degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence. She also holds an honorary doctorate in Public Administration from Pratt Institute.

Amanda Burden has made a name for herself through her work in the urban development of the city she calls home. From 1983 to 1990, she was the Vice President for Planning and Design at the Battery Park City Authority. From 2002 to 2013, she was the New York City Planning Commissioner, during which time she spearheaded projects rezoning almost 40% of the city. In 2014, she was brought on board the Council for Foreign Relations.

Her lifelong dedication to her work has brought her many accolades. In 1987, she was awarded the Sidney Strauss Award by the New York Society of Architects. In 2004, she received the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s Design Patron award, and the following year, she was awarded the Center for Architecture Award from the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Additionally, she has served on the board of Creative Time Inc. and the Center for Arts Education. She serves as a trustee of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. She is also associated with the Nature Conservancy, the Architectural League, and the Fund for the City of New York.

As for her personal life, Burden has seen a few ups and downs. She was married to Shirley Carter Burden Jr, with whom she has two children, Flobelle Fairbanks Burden and S. Carter Burden III. The couple was divorced in 1972. Burden’s next marriage was with Steven J. Ross, but the couple was divorced barely three years later. Burden has courted other relationships since but has not married again.

Babe Paley’s Kids From the Second Marriage

While the children from her first marriage have been in the public limelight, Babe’s children with Bill Paley have lived considerably more secluded lives. Little to nothing is known about her daughter Kate Paley, who has preferred to stay away from the media limelight that continually seemed to shine on her mother. Her brother, William C. Paley, also prefers a lifestyle outside of media scrutiny.

Born in 1948, William had a turbulent lifestyle, which, reportedly, was much to the dismay of his father. While his father had found incredible success in his 20s, William had a completely different lifestyle, often termed “hippie.” He dropped out of college, served in Vietnam, and had a brief stint as a filmmaker. He was said to have had long hair and an earring at the time, and with the boat that he bought, against the wishes of his father, he would often spend a lot of time in solitude.

Image Credit: CigarChannelVideo/Youtube

Described at one point as a “hermit,” he is said to have spent weeks in the middle of the Everglades with no one to accompany him. Apart from this, William also indulged in drugs, which changed with his travels— amphetamine in Spain, heroin in Vietnam, and marijuana in DC. At the same time, he also invested in The Gandy Dancer, a bar/restaurant he ran in DC.

This colorful lifestyle brought him a lot of scrutiny, but once he got clean and decided to turn his life around, he kept a low profile and stayed away from garnering any unwanted publicity. The only time he came out to talk about his business was when he decided to relaunch the cigar brand La Palina, which was established by his grandfather, who made his riches from this business alone. Apart from this, William also became a counselor, helping drug addicts get their life back on track. All of this he did while raising his two sons with his wife, Alison Van Metre.

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