Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Alfred S. Bloomingdale
Alfred Samuel Bloomingdale (April 15, 1916–August 23, 1982) was an heir to the Bloomingdale's department store fortune, a Republican fundraiser, an active Catholic, and the celebrated lover of a murdered Hollywood model.
Born into great wealth in New York City, the grandson of the founder of the famous department store, as a young man he had a keen interest in theater and between 1941 and 1945 was involved in the direction and/or production of several Broadway shows. To facilitate the need of his wealthy friends who liked to patron New York city's upscale restaurants following a night at the theater, Bloomingdale launched a credit card business called "Dine & Sign" that meant people on a night out no longer needed to carry large sums of cash. In 1951, he merged his company with Diners Club and joined the rapidly growing business as an executive, becoming chairman of the board of directors in 1964. In 1970, he left Diners Club, acquiring its "International Floatels" division.
Along with his wife Betsy Bloomingdale, Alfred Bloomingdale became a friend and confidante of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Following his election to the U.S. presidency, in 1981 Reagan appointed Bloomingdale to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and the following year named him a member of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy .
The Bloomingdale's maintained homes in New York and on the West Coast of the United States, and while in Los Angeles, a 54-year-old Alfred Bloomingdale began an affair with an 18-year-old usher from Grauman's Chinese Theater by the name of Vicki Morgan. For 12 years, Bloomingdale kept her in a luxurious apartment, showering her with expensive clothing, jewelry, and cars.
Alfred Bloomingdale died of throat cancer in 1982 in Santa Monica, California. Newspaper headlines soon screamed with stories of his sexual relationship with Vicki Morgan as a result of unsubstantiated details provided in her unsuccessful multi-million dollar palimony lawsuit. Although the case against Bloomingdale's estate was dismissed by the courts, the entire affair was soon back in the headlines when Morgan was murdered in a brutal attack by her roommate less than a year after Alfred Bloomingdale had been interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
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