Letitia Baldrige

Manners maven

The ritual lighting of a woman's cigarette by a man was a practice Americans could do without. Women should carry their own lighters. So said Letitia Baldrige, authority on contemporary etiquette, who died Oct. 29 at 86. Once Jacqueline Kennedy's White House chief of staff, Baldrige, or Tish, as she was known, helped Americans transition from the white-glove world of Emily Post to an age of female executives, stepchildren and gay lovers. Women's independence, Baldrige thought, was the most important factor in changing mores; she once said, "Women have discovered that they can live alone without crumbling." And, she added, "make...

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