Adelaide Breevort Close was a philanthropist known for being the daughter of American businesswoman Marjorie Merriweather Post and her first husband, Edward Bennett Close, an investment banker. She was born on July 26, 1908, in Greenwich, Connecticut, USA, as the firstborn. Adelaide had two younger siblings, Eleanor Post Close, and Nedenia Marjorie Hutton.

Adelaide Breevort Close was raised in Long Island and attended the Nightingale-Bamford School. She started riding horses when she was young and rode with her younger sisters.

Personal Life

Regarding her love life, Adelaide Breevort Close was married thrice. In 1927, she married Thomas Wells Durant, and they had one daughter Marjorie Merriweather Durant Dye. However, their marriage did not last long after the birth of their daughter. Adelaide’s second marriage was to Merrall MacNeille, a racing steward; they had two daughters but divorced after being married for several years.

Adelaide Breevort Close’s third and last marriage was to horse breeder Augustus Riggs IV. The couple lived together until 1975 when Augustus died.

Career and Other Interests

After marrying Augustus, Adelaide started rearing and breeding horses on her ranch. Adelaide did not limit herself to breeding horses but was also involved in horse racing up to old age. On her farm, Adelaide was helped by her manager Dr. Michael Cavey.

She was also involved in breeding dogs and was a dog show judge in events around the US, Scotland, England, Bermuda, and Canada. Given her passion for breeding and showing dogs, Adelaide became the first woman to be a dog show judge at Westminster Kennel Club and was a judge every year. Besides breeding horses and dogs, Adelaide was also a gardener.

Adelaide was also involved in charity activities to continue with her mother’s philanthropic activities. However, she did all her philanthropy behind the cameras since she did not like media attention. Upon the death of her mother, Adelaide served as the president of the Marjorie Merriweather Post Foundation

Adelaide was actively involved in her community and a member of several clubs, including the Metropolitan Club of Washington, Maryland Jockey Club, Chevy Chase Club, Colonial Dames of America, and Daughters of the American Revolution.

Her Mother

Adelaide Breevort Close’s mother was a socialite, philanthropist, and business lady. Upon her father’s death, Marjorie inherited his company. She became one of the wealthiest in the U.S. Adelaide’s mother then expanded the cereal company; she later renamed it General Foods Corporation.

Given all her wealth, Marjorie started doing charity activities; during the second world war, she funded a France-based U.S Army Hospital. Adelaide’s mother supported many other causes and was consistently rewarded for her philanthropic work. She died due to a prolonged illness and was buried at her estate in Washington, D.C. Most of her wealth was shared between her three daughters, including Adelaide Breevort Close.


Adelaide Breevort Close must have died a happy woman, having impacted every sector she had been part of, including horse racing, breeding, and philanthropic work. She died at her home on December 31, 1998, aged 90, due to pneumonia.


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