Linda Lee Thomas Cause of Death: A Life Remembered


Linda Lee Thomas, a prominent American socialite, lived a life of opulence and intrigue. Her name became forever intertwined with that of her husband, the legendary musical theatre composer, Cole Porter. But behind the glamour and wealth lay a story of love, loss, and resilience. In this article, we delve into Linda’s fascinating life and explore the circumstances surrounding her untimely demise.

The Early Years

Born Linda Belle Lee to the distinguished Lee family of Virginia, Linda’s upbringing was one of privilege and refinement. Her marriage to Edward Russell Thomas, scion of the New York Morning Telegraph, thrust her into high society. However, her first marriage was marred by alleged abuse, leading to their eventual divorce.

A Fateful Encounter

In 1918, fate intervened when Linda met the brilliant composer Cole Porter at a Parisian wedding. Their union was unconventional, passionate, and enduring. Despite not having children of their own, Linda conceived and tragically miscarried. Their 34-year marriage was marked by artistic collaboration, lavish living, and shared secrets.

The Final Chapter

Linda’s health declined over the years, and in 1954, she succumbed to emphysema at the age of 70. She breathed her last in the couple’s Waldorf Towers apartment, leaving behind an estate worth over $1.5 million (equivalent to $16.3 million today). Cole inherited a lifetime interest in her fortune, a testament to their enduring bond. Linda was laid to rest in the Porter family plot at Mount Hope Cemetery in Peru, Indiana.

Legacy and Portrayals

Linda’s story has been immortalized on screen. Alexis Smith portrayed her in the 1946 film “Night and Day,” while Ashley Judd brought her to life in the 2004 film “De-Lovely.” A one-woman show titled “Love, Linda: The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter” celebrated their relationship, capturing the essence of their extraordinary love affair.

Linda Lee Thomas remains an enigmatic figure—a woman who danced through life’s highs and lows, leaving behind a legacy that transcends time and tragedy.

According to Cathy Day, Linda Lee Thomas Porter died on May 20, 1954, after battling emphysema.

Linda Lee Thomas’s life was filled with glamour, love, and heartache. Her cause of death, emphysema, serves as a poignant reminder of mortality’s inevitability. As we remember her, let us celebrate the indelible mark she left on the world, forever entwined with the melodies of Cole Porter’s timeless compositions.

Doms Desk

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