Marylou Whitney, ‘The Queen Of Saratoga,’ Dies At 93

The former actress and famed socialite brought prominence to Saratoga and its fabled racetrack.

Marylou Whitney
Marylou Whitney (pictured at center), known for her deep connection to Saratoga Springs and its racetrack, passed away on July 19. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

Saratoga Springs’ collective heart is broken. Marylou Whitney, the “Queen of Saratoga,” has died at the age of 93.

The New York Racing Association broke the news this afternoon at Saratoga Race Course and followed it up with a tweet that read:

“Our hearts are broken, we are deeply saddened by the passing of Marylou Whitney at the age of 93. The Queen of Saratoga was one of racing’s most dedicated supporters and a tremendous ambassador for the industry. We send our condolences to her family and friends.”

Social media, especially Twitter, has become a makeshift memorial to Whitney.

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, where the late Whitney’s husband, John Hendrickson is president:

“The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame extends its deepest condolences to the family of Marylou Whitney and her husband, John Hendrickson, on the passing of Mrs. Whitney. A kindhearted friend to the Museum, the sport of thoroughbred racing, and the Saratoga Springs community, Mrs. Whitney was a beloved and irreplaceable icon whose extraordinary legacy will have a lasting effect on future generations.”

While many will remember Whitney as the consummate Saratoga socialite, she was much, much more than just that to the city of Saratoga. She was a generous philanthropist, giving to innumerable charities; a patron of the arts and Saratoga Race Course; and a talented horse owner and breeder, one who was set to receive the Sport of King’s highest honor this August, when she was going to be inducted into the horse racing Hall of Fame. For that reason (and many more), saratoga living included Whitney on our inaugural Power List.

For more on Whitney’s incredible life lived, read saratoga living Contributor (and former Editor) Maria McBride Bucciferro’s feature from last year’s “The Races!” Issue here.

Will Levith

Will Levith is Editorial Director at Saratoga Living and Capital Region Living magazine. He's a native Saratogian and graduate of Saratoga Springs High School. His work has been published by Esquire, Playboy, Condé Nast Traveler, Men's Health, RealClearLife and many others. He lives in Troy with his wife, Laura, and dog, Esopus.


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