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Betty Lorraine Betz McMahon (March 28, 1920 - April 17, 2010)[1] was a cartoonist, magazine columnist, and television host in the 1940s and '50s.

Betz was born in 1920 in Hammond, Indiana. In high school, she was a championship swimmer and voted "Most Likely to Succeed". She majored in journalism at Sarah Lawrence College (Class of 1941). While in college, she worked as a guest editor for Mademoiselle and published two pages of drawings in the magazine. Also while in college, she lived in Japan for six months as a junior journalist. After graduating, she worked at Harper's Bazaar for six months, then started a column for Woman's Home Companion and a two-page spread of drawings for Seventeen. During the first five years of her career, she also designed dresses, greeting cards, and stationary, and wrote a book of teenage etiquette titled Your Manners Are Showing and a party-planning book called The Betty Betz Party Book. Later, she traveled around South America sponsored by Pan-American Airways to design juniors' fashion and documented teen culture in Hawai'i.

By 1946, she had two regular features: "Betty Betz Bets" for King Features and "Look Who's Talking", a full-page Sunday feature in Hearst's Pictorial Review.

Post-World War II, she was awarded a medal by the French government for civic achievement at the International Fashion Show in Paris, and staged a children's party in Montmartre. In early 1949, she went on a round-the-world trip as a "friendship ambassador", bringing care packages to underprivileged children in Europe and Asia from American Camp Fire Girls. 

From February to May 1951, she briefly hosted a weekly teen-interest talk show, "Going Places with Betty Betz", on ABC.[2]

Her fan club, the Betty Betz Angel Club had over 10,000 chapters all over the United States.

During the Korean War, she served as a war correspondent for Hearst. In 1956, she married Canadian oil magnate and champion race horse owner Frank McMahon and moved to Calgary, Alberta. They had two daughters, Francine de la Moussaye and Bettina McMahon.[3]

Betz and her husband retired to Bermuda where he passed away in 1986. She continued to paint until she succumbed to Alzheimer's disease. She passed away on April 17, 2010.

Sources Edit

  1. "Betty Betz," Open Library. Last updated" 13 May 2012, Accessed: 19 May 2015
  2. Brooks, Tim and Earle F. Marsh. "Going Places with Betty Betz", The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. New York: Ballantine Books, 2007. pg. 544
  3. Cook, Joan. "Frank McMahon, an Industrialist", New York Times. Published: 22 May 1986. Accessed: 19 May 2015.

FAG-icon View Betty Betz's memorial at Find-A-Grave.