Linda Lee Thomas

Linda Lee Thomas was born on November 17, 1883, in Kentucky, in the United States. She comes from a famous and politically prominent family. In her lifetime, she was married twice. Her first husband, Edward Russell Thomas, was a well-known business figure in the United States. She married her second husband, Cole Porter, a singer and lyricist in 1919 after divorcing Edward Thomas reportedly due to his abuse in 1912. In her lifetime, she has attended many social occasions. She had a passion for all things vogue and fashion-related. She truly was a trophy wife. Today we remember her and her life achievements.

Fast Facts

Full Name:

Linda Lee Thomas

Birth date:

November 17, 1883

Death date:

May 20, 1954 (age 70)

Zodiac Sign:



Linda Lee Thomas was born on November 17, 1883. She was born Linda Belle Lee into the illustrious Virginian Lee family. William Paca Lee, a banker in Louisville, was her father, and Lily Lee (née Hill), was her mother.

Edward Russell Thomas, the proprietor of the “New York Morning Telegraph” and the son of Union Army officer Samuel Thomas, was introduced to her by friends. On June 29, 1901, they tied the knot in Newport, Rhode Island when she was 17. They had a luxurious lifestyle, owning homes in Manhattan, Palm Beach, and Newport. On October 26, 1912, they got a divorce, allegedly as a result of his maltreatment. Thomas and Cole Porter, who became her second husband first came into contact at the marriage of Henry Potter Russell to heiress Ethel Borden Harriman, the daughter of railroad and investment banking billionaire J. Borden Harriman and his wife, Florence “Daisy” Hurst, on January 30, 1918, at the Hôtel Ritz Paris. On December 18, 1919, Lee Thomas and Porter were wed in the 8ème arrondissement of Paris’ city hall. The Porters lived at 13 rue Monsieur, a home next door to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin with a garden next to Nancy Mitford’s future home, from 1930 to 1939. Despite not having any children of their own during their 34 years of marriage, Linda became pregnant and miscarried.

In the couple’s apartment in the Waldorf Towers, Thomas passed away from emphysema at the age of 70 in 1954. Cole Porter received a lifetime interest in her approximately $1.5 million inheritance, worth over $15.1 million now which she left behind. She was laid to rest in the Porter family plot in Peru, Indiana’s Mount Hope Cemetery.

Career timeline

She Marries Her First Husband

Linda Lee Thomas weds her first husband, Edward Russell Thomas who was an American businessman.

She Meets Her Second Husband

Thomas meets her second husband, Cole Porter at a wedding.

She Influences a Movie Character

She is portrayed by Ashley Judd in, "De-Lovely."

A Documentary on Her Life is Made

A one-woman show about her life with Cole Porter, titled "Love, Linda: The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter," starring jazz vocalist Stevie Holland, runs Off-Broadway at the York Theatre.

Why We Love Linda Lee Thomas

  1. She was fashionable

    Although she lived long before the age of technology, Linda Lee Thomas was one of the fashion icons of her time and was always dressed in designer pieces. She had exquisite taste in jewelry and clothes.

  2. She was the life of the party

    She was a very well-known socialite who was always down to have a great time with friends and family. She enjoyed high-class social gatherings.

  3. She had exquisite manners

    Thomas was very elegant, which was what attracted the general public to her. Although rich, she had good manners.

5 Surprising Facts

  1. She had a lung condition

    Linda Lee Thomas was diagnosed with emphysema.

  2. Her family

    Thomas came from a politically prominent family.

  3. She had expensive jewelry pieces

    Her Jewelry collection included pieces by Paul Flato.

  4. She lost a child

    At a point in her marriage life, she suffered a miscarriage.

  5. She loved shopping

    Thomas enjoyed shopping and her favorite department store was Van Clef & Arpels.

Linda Lee Thomas FAQs

What was the age gap between Linda Lee Thomas and Cole Porter?

She was 15 years older than him.

What collection did Linda Lee Thomas own?

She was a jewelry collector and she had a lot of designer statement pieces in her collection.

Who played Linda Lee Thomas in the movie, “Night and Day?”

Thomas is portrayed by Alexis Smith.

Linda Lee Thomas’s birthday dates

2024November 17Sunday
2025November 17Monday
2026November 17Tuesday
2027November 17Wednesday
2028November 17Friday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.