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Past High Commissioner, Clan Campbell Society (United States of America) (1978-1988)


Lady Jeanne Louise Campbell

Lady Jeanne Louise Campbell

Birthdate:       December 10, 1928
Birthplace:     Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Death:           June 09, 2007 (age 78) Africa

Immediate Family:     

Daughter of Ian Campbell, 11th Duke of Argyll and Hon. Janet Gladys Kidd

Half sister of Ian Campbell, 12th Duke of Argyll; Lady Elspeth Campbell


Lady Jeanne Louise Campbell was a British socialite and foreign correspondent who wrote for the Evening Standard in the 1950s and 1960s.

Movies: Norman Mailer: The American

Spouse: John Sergeant Cram III (m. 1967–1968), Norman Mailer (m. 1962–1963)
Children: Cusi Cram, Kate Mailer

Parents: Lady Jeanne was the daughter of Ian Douglas Campbell, 11th Duke of Argyll and his first wife, the Hon. Janet Gladys Aitken. She was a granddaughter of the press baron Lord Beaverbrook, who was the owner of the Evening Standard, and a stepdaughter of Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, as well as the great-niece of Queen Victoria's daughter Louise.

Jeanne's parents had met at a casino when Janet was 17 and Ian 24. Janet later recalled that he had been "long on charm but short on judgment at the gaming tables". Their marriage began unpropitiously when the groom - intending to instruct his bride in her marital duties - took her to watch a display of graphic lovemaking in a brothel. He was soon selling her jewels to pay gambling debts.

Lady Jeanne married in 1962, the American writer Norman Mailer (he described her as "interesting, complex, and Machiavellian") had Kate Mailer b.1962; divorced 1963.

Reportedly, Lady Jeanne was the basis for "the bitch" in Norman Mailer's 1965 novel, An American Dream. The novel was controversial at the time for its portrayal and treatment of women, including the protagonist's murder of his estranged wife, a high society woman.

She married her second husband, John Sergeant Cram III, a descendant of the railroad tycoon Jay Gould, in 1967. They divorced in 1968. She had two children. Her elder daughter, Kate Mailer (born 1962), is an actress. Her younger daughter, Cusi Cram, is also an actress, a Herrick-prize-winning playwright, and an Emmy-nominated writer for the children's animated television program, Arthur

New York Times Paid Notice: Deaths
CAMPBELL, LADY JEANNE Published: June 7, 2007

CAMPBELL--Lady Jeanne, died June 4, 2007, at the age of 78. She is survived by her daughters Kate Mailer and Cusi Cram, and her granddaughter Natasha Annabelle Lancaster. We will gather at 9AM, Saturday, June 9, at Perazzo's Funeral Home, 199 Bleeker St. Mass to follow at 10:30AM at St. Joseph's Church, 371 6th Ave, NY, NY 10014. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The St. Joseph's Soup Kitchen at the aforementioned address.

She died last June 9, unnoticed in the media. Her nephew, Torquhil Ian, the 13th Duke of Argyll, his mother, her sister-in-law, Iona, and her brother Lord Colin Campbell were in attendance at Perezzo’s Funeral Home on Bleecker Street. 244 West 11th Street, Lady Jeanne Campbell's final address.


Lady Jeanne Campbell — obituary
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 09/23/2007

Posted on 9/23/2007, 7:57:48 PM by dighton

Lady Jeanne Campbell , who has died aged 78, was a journalist who reported for the Evening Standard from New York for many years; she was also the former wife of Norman Mailer, the daughter of the reprobate 11th Duke of Argyll and the favourite granddaughter of Lord Beaverbrook.

As a journalist she covered the funeral of John F Kennedy in 1963, observing memorably that Jackie Kennedy had “given the American people from this day on the one thing they always lacked — majesty”.

Lady Jeanne was wild. So numerous were her love affairs that James C Humes (a speechwriter for many American presidents) claimed in his memoirs, Confessions of a White House Ghostwriter, that she was the only woman to have known “Biblically” Presidents Khrushchev, Kennedy and Castro — and all, he claimed, within the space of a year. Humes suggested that Kennedy went through his paces at her Georgetown house in October 1963; Khruschev at his dacha in April 1964; and Castro in Havana the following May.

Jeanne Louise Campbell (sometimes known as Jean or Jeanie) was the daughter of Ian Campbell, the handsome playboy who was heir to Niall, the bachelor 10th Duke of Argyll, his eccentric first cousin once removed. Her mother was Janet Aitken, daughter of the proprietor of the Daily Express.

Jeanne’s parents had met at a casino in Le Touquet, when Janet was 17 and Ian 24. Janet later recalled that her husband had been “long on charm but short on judgment at the gaming tables”. They married in December 1927, but the union got off to an unpropitious start when the groom — intending to instruct his bride in her marital duties — took her to watch a display of graphic lovemaking in a brothel. He was soon selling his bride’s jewels to pay his gambling debts.

Jeanne was born on December 10 1928, and as her mother was recovering from serious haemorrhaging (from which she almost died) her husband again demanded her jewels; when she refused, he seized a shotgun and threatened to shoot himself. After hearing two shots outside the house Janet capitulated.

The following summer the young couple went to live at Auribeau in the South of France; but the casino soon beckoned, as did an American girl called “Oui Oui” Clews (later Ian’s second wife — his third was the famous Margaret, Duchess of Argyll). Janet decided to leave, and with the help of her father she escaped and made Jeanne a ward of court. Janet was a difficult mother, a heavy drinker. When Jeanne was about four, Lord Beaverbrook asked her: “What shall I do about your mother?”; the child replied: “Cut off all her money, grandpa.”

Between 1935 and 1940 Janet was married to Drogo Montagu, second son of the 9th Earl of Sandwich, but they had separated by the time he was killed on active service at the beginning of the war. Jeanne’s mother married for a third time in 1942, and after the war took her younger children to Canada, leaving behind Jeanne and her half-brother, William Montagu. Relations with her mother became increasingly stormy as she grew up; it was later suggested that she had been damaged by her mother’s casual attitude.

After the war Jeanne trained as an actress, even joining the Old Vic, before going down with pneumonia. In 1949 she went to live with Beaverbrook, and travelled with him to the Far East, Europe, Barbados and the United States.

While she remained close to her grandfather, particularly in his old age, he frequently berated her for her wilful and extravagant behaviour, once pointing to a maid on her hands and knees and saying that Jeanne should emulate her — “a real woman”. Jeanne was unconvinced: “[My grandfather’s] great flaw was his inability to treat his women with dignity. Slowly he would turn on them and devastate them. He made them feel they had no right to exist.” She attributed this characteristic to his Presbyterian background; whenever he had acquired a mistress, he felt guilty about her, and thus began treating her badly. When Beaverbrook died he left Jeanne the income from a $500,000 trust. Jeanne grew up rather “fresh”, in the words of one of her passing admirers, Claus von Bulow. In 1953 it appeared that she might be about to marry William Ropner, a scion of the British shipbuilding clan, but instead she outraged her grandfather by succumbing to the charms of Sir Oswald Mosley, Bt, the former Blackshirt leader and a well-practised seducer.

By this time Jeanne was tall, vivacious, somewhat buxom and possessed of sparkling eyes. Mosley pursued her partly because he saw her as a conduit to Beaverbrook and hoped for favourable publicity for his Union Movement. The old man was not taken in, however, and the couple met clandestinely in a series of London flats. In the end Beaverbrook threatened to cut her off if she stayed with Mosley, and in 1956 he dispatched her to New York to write for the Evening Standard.

In one of her early reports Jeanne wrote a critical review of the CIA, causing Beaverbrook to warn her to be careful what she said about the secret service of the country in which she was living. He further advised her: “Emphasise human interest. Put the best strawberry on top of the basket. Write short sentences. Cut, cut, cut. Always interview people face to face. Never rewrite from another newspaper. Keep widening your circle of acquaintances — even if it means accepting the invitations of bores. Use your feet.”

Jeanne’s vocabulary was not extensive. When she was to visit the oil baron J Paul Getty, Beaverbrook warned he was “rather priapic”. She did not understand, and he explained “ever ready”.

As a friend of Randolph Churchill, Jeanne annoyed him by dining in his rooms at the Hyde Park Hotel in a sumptuous red velvet dress on a night when Sir Winston was expected to die. She spent the night on a sofa and was smuggled out of the hotel the next morning wearing some of Randolph’s clothes. When Randolph wrote volume one of his biography of Sir Winston, she judged it “a solid body of work which no critic or historian can question as an eminent and scholarly contribution to the history of mankind”.

Between 1959 and 1961 Jeanne had an intense affair with Henry Luce II, founder and owner of Time-Life Inc, and the husband of the redoubtable Clare Booth Luce. Jeanne had met him on holiday with Beaverbrook, at a time when she was working as a researcher at Time. He secured her a job at Life magazine, and came close to leaving his wife for her.

In the spring of 1961 Jeanne met Norman Mailer, and soon became pregnant by him. The affair with Luce ended and she returned to the Evening Standard. When, some years later, Gore Vidal asked her what had attracted her to Mailer she replied: “I had never gone to bed with a Jew before.” Mailer, meanwhile, liked to go to bed with women who had slept with famous men. His second wife had been bedded by Jack Kerouac, his fourth by Miles Davis; his biographer, Mary Dearborn, suggested that this was “a homoerotic thing”.

Beaverbrook, who never took to Mailer, advised her to have his child but abstain from marrying him. Instead she did both, marrying the writer in 1962 and giving birth to her daughter, Kate, now an actress, the same year. After a short, tempestuous marriage, which ended with Mailer’s infidelity, she left him, and they were divorced in Mexico in 1963. He rewarded her by depicting her as the bitch in his novel An American Dream. He later described her as “a dear pudding of a lady” and “a remarkable girl, almost as interesting, complex and Machiavellian” as himself.

Following the assassination of Kennedy in 1963 Jeanne was one of a group that included Jones Harris and Tom Bethell that investigated various conspiracy theories. She was experienced at sleuthing, having stitched up her despised stepmother, Margaret Argyll, in 1959. At the height of her father’s divorce proceedings, he (by now the 11th Duke of Argyll) and Jeanne (dressed in trousers and headscarf) entered Margaret’s London house by stealth and proceeded to remove all her four-year diaries from the drawing room.

When they entered her bedroom the Duchess attempted to call the police, but the Duke pinioned her arms while Jeanne snatched the current volume. Soon afterwards the Duchess sued Jeanne for trespass and theft and Jeanne settled out of court.

In 1964 Jeanne met the Beatles at the British Embassy in Washington and put her arm round Paul McCartney. “Which one are you?” she asked. “Roger McClusky the Fifth,” he answered, extricating himself from her grip.

Jeanne’s second husband, whom she married in 1964, was John Sergeant Cram, a gentleman farmer and a great-great-grandson of the railway baron Jay Gould. They lived in New York and at Foot Point Plantation, Bluffton, South Carolina. Jeanne had a second daughter (possibly by a man called Guy Nicholas Lancaster), Cusi Cram, who became an actress and playwright.

It was said that Jeanne received a large advance on her memoirs but blew it on a villa in Greece without ever writing the book. Latterly she lived in a tiny walk-up flat in Greenwich Village, New York, and slept in her last surviving treasure — Napoleon’s campaign bed.


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