John Hay Whitney was a member of the prominent Whitney family. He was U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, publisher of the New York Herald Tribune, and president of the Museum of Modern Art.
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In 1958, a year after becoming Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Whitney and his wife purchased this home in the prestigious Wentworth Estate. During their ownership, the couple hosted such prominent figures as Princess Margaret, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Winston Churchill.