Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bunny Mellon's 'Green' From Listerine

You may have heard in recent days that 100 year-old heiress Bunny Mellon was the source of  $725,000 in 'campaign donations' that John Edwards and his team allegedly used illegally to secret away Edwards' mistress and love child in the midst of his 2008 presidential run.  (Bunny reportedly gave the Edwards campaign a total of $6 million because she was, "horrified at the 'imperial rule' of Bush and Cheney.")

I thought it was interesting that, while (as her name implies) one source of her wealth is the Mellon Bank fortune, much of the money from her particular line of the family tree actually came from Listerine, of all things. When she was mentioned in the press in the years before this Edwards scandal she was repeatedly referred to (even by the New York Times) as "the Listerine heiress."  You can read more about the source of her family wealth in Forbes HERE. Here's the key sentence, "Her father Gerard Lambert was the one-time president of Gillette and made a fortune through his Warner-Lambert pharmaceutical company, inventors of the mouthwash Listerine."

Her 'real' name is Rachel Lambert Mellon.  'Bunny' is just her nickname. Vanity Fair magazine ran a profile of her colorful, full life last August, which you can read HERE.  It states in part, "Bunny was widely venerated as the epitome of good taste and the true queen of green, thanks to her prowess with gardens, both her own and those she designed for friends such as Hubert de Givenchy and the Kennedys, for whom she did, most notably, the White House Rose Garden."

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