April 22, 2002 — Ogden Phipps, the well-known philanthropist, sportsman, Thoroughbred owner
and breeder and former chairman of the family-owned Bessemer Securities
Corporation, died at approximately 1:30 a.m. today at Good Samaritan Medical
Center in West Palm Beach, Florida after a short illness.
He was 93 years old and was a resident of Palm Beach.
The New York City native (born Nov. 26, 1908) attended Harvard and later
rose to the rank of Commander while serving in the U.S. Navy during World
Phipps was a former partner of Smith Barney & Co. and served as chairman of
Bessemer Securities Corporation from February 1958 until January 1978. The
latter organization was a personal holding company for the descendants of
Henry Phipps, who was Andrew Carnegie’s partner in Carnegie Steel in the
late 1800s. The sale of Carnegie Steel to J.P. Morgan led to the formation
of U.S. Steel.
Phipps enjoyed immense success as an athlete and won the U.S. Court Tennis
Championship on seven occasions during the mid-1930s and mid-1940s. He also
was the British Amateur champion in 1949. He was inducted into the
International Court Tennis Hall of Fame in 2001.
Phipps was a member and past chairman of The Jockey Club, a trustee emeritus
of the New York Racing Association and an honorary governor of the New
York-Presbyterian Hospital at the time of his death. He was actively
involved with Thoroughbred racing for approximately 70 years and campaigned
homebred stakes winners such as Buckpasser, Easy Goer and the undefeated
He won three Breeders’ Cup races (with Personal Ensign in 1988, Dancing
Spree in 1989 and My Flag in 1995) and won Eclipse Awards as the nation’s
leading owner and leading breeder in 1988 and as the nation’s leading owner
Phipps received numerous awards through the years including the prestigious
Mr. Fitz Award from the National Turf Writers Association in 1989 and the
C.V. Whitney Achievement Award from the New York Turf Writers in 1998.
His list of champions included: Buckpasser (1965, 1966); Impressive (1966);
Vitriolic (1967); Queen of the Stage (1967); Numbered Account (1971);
Relaxing (1981); Personal Ensign (1988); Easy Goer (1988); and Heavenly
Phipps called Easy Goer’s victory in the 1989 Belmont Stakes his “most
exciting moment” and “greatest thrill in racing” and said later, “I had
waited a long time to win the Belmont Stakes.”
“I was not only blessed to have trained for Mr. Phipps, but I was also
blessed to have known him as a person,” said Shug McGaughey, personal trainer of Mr. Phipps’ thoroughbreds. “He was not only an icon in this
sport, but in this country as well.. It was an honor for me to be chosen to
have trained for the Phipps stable and all of the people that have worked
for me over the last 16 years feel the same way. There are not many people
like him left in our world. He was a great man.”
Phipps is survived by two sons, Robert L. Phipps and Ogden Mills Phipps; a
daughter, Cynthia Phipps; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and
a sister, Mrs. Hans C. Seherr-Thoss.
Funeral arrangements will be private and the family requests that, in lieu
of flowers, donations be made to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research
Foundation, 40 E. 52nd St., New York, NY 10022.