Sylvia Jukes Morris, a British-born biographer of first lady Edith Roosevelt and playwright-diplomat Clare Boothe Luce, whose lives she chronicled in lucid prose and meticulous detail, died January 5 in Bridgnorth, England. She was 84.
The cause was cancer, said her sister and sole immediate survivor, Pauline Pennington. Mrs. Morris died less than eight months after her husband, fellow biographer Edmund Morris, who was 78. A resident of Kent, CT, she was staying with her sister in Bridgnorth for Christmas.
Mrs. Morris was an accomplished television performer, and highly-praised author of three biographies. Edith Kermit Roosevelt: Portrait of a First Lady, Rage for Fame: The Ascent of Clare Boothe Luce, and Price of Fame: The Honorable Clare Boothe Luce, which was published to rave reviews. “Luce was one of the 20th century’s most ambitious, unstoppable, and undeniably ingenious characters,” Janet Maslin writes in The New York Times. “This full, warts-and-all biography hauls her back into the limelight and does her full justice.” Both Luce books, Edward Kosner declares in the Wall Street Journal, “are models of the biographer’s art – meticulously researched, sophisticated, fair-minded and compulsively readable.” In addition to these plaudits, Vanity Fair published a 16-page excerpt from Price of Fame in its July 2014 issue.
Mrs. Morris had just appeared with friend Christopher Buckley at a reading co-sponsored by Kent Memorial Library and House of Books to celebrate the publishing of her late husband’s newly released book Edison on November 2, 2019.
To read The Washington Post Obituary from January 9, 2020 click here.
The family asks that you direct donations to the Kent Memorial Library (32 Main St, Kent, CT 06757). There will be a memorial fund in Mrs. Morris’ honor at the Kent Memorial Library. To make a donation click here.