Alfred S. Bloomingdale

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Alfred S. Bloomingdale
Alfred Bloomingdale.jpg
Alfred Bloomingdale, 1981
Alfred Schiffer Bloomingdale

(1916-04-15)April 15, 1916
New York City, New York
DiedAugust 23, 1982(1982-08-23) (aged 66)
Resting place Holy Cross Cemetery
NationalityUnited States
Alma mater Brown University
Known forFather of the Credit Card
Spouse(s) Betty Lee Newling (m. 1946-1982; his death)
Parent(s)Hiram Bloomingdale
Rosalind Schiffer
Family Lyman G. Bloomingdale (grandfather)

Alfred Schiffer Bloomingdale (April 15, 1916 – August 23, 1982) was an heir to the Bloomingdale's department store fortune, "father of the credit card", and the lover of murdered Hollywood sex worker and dominatrix Vicki Morgan. [1]

Bloomingdales American department store chain

Bloomingdale's Inc. is an American department store chain; it was founded by Joseph B. and Lyman G. Bloomingdale in 1861. It became a division of the Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores in 1994, through which it is affiliated with the Macy's department store chain; the holding company was renamed Macy's, Inc. in 2007. As of November 3, 2018, there are 35 full-line stores, 3 home, clearance and specialty stores and 17 outlet stores with the Bloomingdale's nameplate in operation throughout the United States. Its headquarters and flagship store are located at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue in the New York City borough of Manhattan.

Hollywood Neighborhood of Los Angeles in California, United States

Hollywood is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California, notable as the home of the U.S. film industry including several of its historic studios. Its name has come to be a shorthand reference for the industry and the people associated with it.

Dominatrix A woman who takes the dominant role in BDSM activities

A dominatrix, is a woman who takes the dominant role in BDSM activities. A dominatrix might be of any sexual orientation, but her orientation does not necessarily limit the genders of her submissive partners. The role of a dominatrix may not even involve physical pain toward the submissive; her domination can be verbal, involving humiliating tasks, or servitude. A dominatrix is typically a paid professional (pro-domme) as the term dominatrix is little-used within the non-professional BDSM scene.


Early life and education

Bloomingdale was born into great wealth on April 15, 1916 in New York City. He was the son of Rosalind (née Schiffer) and Hiram Bloomingdale, [2] and the grandson of Lyman G. Bloomingdale, a co-founder of the famous department store Bloomingdales. Bloomingdale attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he was a member of the football team as well as Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Upsilon chapter).[ citation needed ]

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and thus also in the state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Brown University University in Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, it is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

Providence, Rhode Island capital of Rhode Island

Providence is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Rhode Island and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a Reformed Baptist theologian and religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of "God's merciful Providence" which he believed was responsible for revealing such a haven for him and his followers. The city is situated at the mouth of the Providence River at the head of Narragansett Bay.


To facilitate the need of his wealthy friends who liked to patronize New York city's upscale restaurants following a night at the theater, Bloomingdale launched a credit card business called "Dine and Sign" that meant people on a night out no longer needed to carry large sums of cash. In 1951, he merged his company with Diners Club and joined the rapidly growing business as an executive, becoming chairman of the board of directors in 1964. In 1969, he left Diners Club, acquiring its "International Floatels" division. [3]

Credit card Card enabling payments from a line of credit

A credit card is a payment card issued to users (cardholders) to enable the cardholder to pay a merchant for goods and services based on the cardholder's promise to the card issuer to pay them for the amounts plus the other agreed charges. The card issuer creates a revolving account and grants a line of credit to the cardholder, from which the cardholder can borrow money for payment to a merchant or as a cash advance. In other words, credit cards combine payment services with extensions of credit. Complex fee structures in the credit card industry may limit customers' ability to comparison shop, helping to ensure that the industry is not price-competitive and helping to maximize industry profits. Due to concerns about this, many legislatures have regulated credit card fees.

Personal life

In 1946, he married, secondly, to Betty Lee "Betsy" Newling, a practicing Roman Catholic, movie starlet and daughter of Dr. Russell Lee Newling, an Adelaide, South Australia-born American physician, with a practice in Beverly Hills. Alfred and Betsy Bloomingdale had three children: [4]

Betsy Bloomingdale American socialite

Betty Lee Bloomingdale, known as Betsy Bloomingdale, was an American socialite and philanthropist. She was considered a fashion icon, frequently appearing on the International Best Dressed List after 1970, and in 2009 was named in the list's Hall of Fame.

Bloomingdale and his wife Betty were friends and confidantes of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. In 1981, following his election to the U.S. presidency, Reagan appointed Bloomingdale to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board [8] and the following year named him a member of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. Although born to a Jewish family, Bloomingdale became a Catholic to marry his second wife, [9] [10] and later became a member of the Knights of Malta. [11] The Bloomingdales maintained homes in New York, the Holmby Hills section of Los Angeles, and an apartment in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.[ citation needed ]

Ronald Reagan 40th president of the United States

Ronald Wilson Reagan was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Prior to his presidency, he was a Hollywood actor and union leader before serving as the 33rd governor of California from 1967 to 1975.

Nancy Reagan Actress and First Lady of the United States

Nancy Davis Reagan was an American film actress and the wife of Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States. She was the First Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989.

Sovereign Military Order of Malta Catholic hospitaller order

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), officially the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta and also known as the Order of Malta, is a Catholic lay religious order, traditionally of military, chivalric and noble nature.

Vicki Morgan affair

In 1970, while in Los Angeles, 54-year-old Alfred Bloomingdale began an affair with 18-year-old Vicki Morgan. For 12 years, Bloomingdale kept her in a luxurious apartment, showering her with expensive clothing, jewelry, and cars. [1] When Alfred was diagnosed with terminal cancer, his wife Betsy cut off Morgan's allowance. [1] [12] Soon after, the affair with Vicki Morgan made headline news as its unsubstantiated and sordid details, which included allegations of sado-masochistic activities instigated by Bloomingdale, were made public after Morgan filed a multimillion-dollar palimony lawsuit against Bloomingdale's estate. The case against Bloomingdale's estate was quickly dismissed by the courts. Morgan eventually moved into a low-rent condominium in the San Fernando Valley where she rented a room to a schizophrenic named Marvin Pancoast, whom she knew from the withdrawal clinic. In July 1983, Pancoast beat her to death with a baseball bat. [1] [12]


Alfred Bloomingdale died of throat cancer in 1982 in Santa Monica, California, aged 66. He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.

Posthumous accusation of attempted rape

In 2017, actress Janis Paige wrote a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter in which she stated that Alfred Bloomingdale had attempted to rape her when she was 22 years old. [13]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Poisoned Passions at Investigation Discovery Archived 2013-06-24 at the Wayback Machine .
  2. American Inventors, Entrepreneurs, and Business Visionaries by Charles W. Carey retrieved March 18, 2013
  3. Carey, Charles W., Jr. (2002). American Inventors, Entrepreneurs & Business Visionaries, pp. 30-31. Facts on File, Inc.
  4. "Two Unerdervalued Diors Get Betsy Bloomingdale in Trouble with the Feds in Los Angeles",, September 13, 1976.
  5. New York Times: "Geoffrey Bloomingdale Weds Elizabeth Fahr" June 15, 1972
  6. New York Times: "R. McKim Bell, Lawyer, Weds Lisa Bloomingdale" September 22, 1974 | "St. Paul the Apostle Roman Catholic Church was the setting in Los Angeles yesterday afternoon for the marriage of Lisa Bloomingdale to Robert McKim Bell"
  7. New York Times: "Justine H. Schmidt, R. R. Bloomingdale Wed in California" September 9, 1979
  8. Abscher, Kenneth M.; Desch, Michael C.; & Popadiuk, Roman. "The President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board", in Johnson, Loch K., ed. (2010). The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence, p. 182. Oxford University Press, Inc.
  9. Colacello, Bob (May 29, 2009). "Ronnie & Nancy". Vanity Fair .
  10. Kelley, Kitty (1992-01-01). Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorized Biography. Pocket Star Books. p. 400. ISBN   9780671646479.
  11. Knights of Malta,; retrieved November 12, 2012.
  12. 1 2 "Dominick Dunne: lost and found" by Mick Brown (October 18, 2008) Telegraph of London
  13. Paige, Janis (October 27, 2017). "Harassment in Hollywood's Golden Age: Survivor Janis Paige's Firsthand Story". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 28, 2017.