Rachel 'Bunny' Mellon, philanthropist and arts patron, dies at 103

By Kyle Johnson,

Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, who was known for being close friends with Jacqueline Kennedy and a big patron of the arts, passed away on Monday.

Mellon's assistant and librarian, Tony Willis, confirmed she passed away at her home in Virginia, but no cause of death has been announced, reports The Washington Post.

During her lifetime, Mellon was known to be quite into arts and along with her philanthropist husband, Paul Mellon, donated over 1,000 pieces of art to the National Gallery of Art. Some of what they donated included works from Vincent van Gogh and Edgar Degas.

Mellon was known to be quite restrained and did her best to remain out of the spotlight despite being friends with Jackie Kennedy and others. Architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen said, "She was a marvelously shy person." He added, "She hated the public light and having her picture taken, and Paul was very protective of that."

She popped into the news twice in recent years. One time was after it was revealed she had tried to help former presidential candidate John Edwards, according to the Los Angeles Times. She used her own money to try and help cover up Edwards' mistress during his 2008 campaign.

Mellon supported Edwards' mistress during her pregnancy to the tune of over $700,000 of her own money. The Post notes that she also a victim of Kenneth I. Starr's Ponzi scheme in 2010.



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