Artist Catalog

Mary Louise Curtis Bok Zimbalist

Born: August 6 1876
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Mary Louise Curtis Bok Zimbalist

Mary Louise Curtis (August 6, 1876 in Boston, Massachusetts – January 4, 1970 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), was the founder of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She was the only child of the magazine and newspaper magnate Cyrus Curtis and Louisa Knapp Curtis, the founder and editor of the Ladies Home Journal.

Aged 13, writing under her mother's maiden name (as Mary L. Knapp), she was one of sixteen people on the staff of Ladies' Home Journal in 1890, the first year of Edward W. Bok's long tenure as editor of the magazine. In 1896, at the age of nineteen, she married Bok, who was fourteen years her senior. The couple had two sons, William Curtis Bok and Cary Curtis Bok. Her husband retired from the magazine in 1919, and they spent their winters in Florida, where they built the Bok Tower Gardens near Lake Wales. The marriage of Mary Louise and Edward Bok lasted 34 years until his death in 1930.
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