Babe Paley Car Accident: What Really Happened To Babe Paley?

by Moore Martin

Babe Paley Car Accident

Babe Paley Car Accident


Babe Paley’s life took an unexpected turn in 1934 when a car accident changed the course of her destiny. At just 19 years old, she faced a traumatic incident that left her with a unique story of resilience and success. In this article, we will delve into the details of Babe Paley’s car accident and how she transformed adversity into triumph.

The Fateful Car Accident

In 1934, Babe Paley, then a young debutante with a promising future, found herself in a life-altering situation. A car accident left her with a profound physical setback—she lost all her front teeth and required extensive jaw reconstruction. It was a challenging and traumatic experience for a teenager, but it was not the end of her journey.

Overcoming Adversity

Instead of succumbing to the adversity that the car accident had thrust upon her, Babe Paley displayed remarkable resilience. She decided to pursue a career in the fashion industry, despite her physical setbacks. In 1935, she secured an entry-level position at Glamour magazine, marking the beginning of her remarkable journey.

Rising Through the Ranks

Babe Paley’s determination and unwavering spirit saw her steadily climb the ladder of success. By 1939, she had ascended to the position of a Vogue editor, a testament to her talent and dedication. Her story serves as an inspiration, showcasing how one can turn setbacks into opportunities for growth and achievement.

The Unconventional Love Story

Babe Paley’s life took another unexpected turn when she married CBS co-founder William S. Paley in 1947. The couple became synonymous with high society, residing in opulent homes in New York City, Long Island, and New Hampshire. However, beneath the veneer of luxury, challenges lurked.

The Expose

In 1975, Truman Capote’s expose, “La Côte Basque 1965,” rocked the socialite world and exposed the difficulties within Babe Paley’s marriage. The revelation of her husband’s infidelities strained her relationships and led to her estrangement from Capote, a once-close friend.

The Final Chapter

Babe Paley’s life took a tragic turn when she battled lung cancer. Her valiant fight ended on July 6, 1978, just one day before her 63rd birthday. Her legacy endures as a symbol of 20th-century elegance, and she is immortalized in the Fashion Hall of Fame since 1958.


Babe Paley’s car accident in 1934 was indeed a significant chapter in her life, but it did not define her. Instead, it was a testament to her resilience and determination. She rose above adversity, becoming a fashion icon and a prominent figure in New York society. Her story reminds us that setbacks can be stepping stones to greatness.

Babe Paley Car Accident – FAQs

  1. What was the life-changing event in Babe Paley’s early years?
    Babe Paley experienced a car accident in 1934, losing all her front teeth and requiring jaw reconstruction.
  2. How did Babe Paley overcome the setback from her car accident?
    Despite the accident, she persevered and entered the fashion industry, starting as a Glamour magazine employee in 1935 and later becoming a Vogue editor in 1939.
  3. When did Babe Paley marry William S. Paley?
    She married CBS co-founder William S. Paley in 1947.
  4. What significant publication exposed challenges in Babe Paley’s marriage?
    Truman Capote’s expose, “La Côte Basque 1965,” revealed marriage challenges in 1975.
  5. How did the release of Capote’s expose impact Babe Paley’s relationships?
    It caused a major rift, leading to her alienation from Capote and high-society friends.

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