Ogden Phipps, the well-known philanthropist, sportsman, Thoroughbred owner and breeder and former chairman of the family-owned Bessemer Securities Corporation, died at approximately 1:30 a.m. today at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida after a short illness.
He was 93 years old and was a resident of Palm Beach.
The New York City native (born Nov. 26, 1908) attended Harvard and later rose to the rank of Commander while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Phipps was a former partner of Smith Barney & Co. and served as chairman of Bessemer Securities Corporation from February 1958 until January 1978.
The latter organization was a personal holding company for the descendants of Henry Phipps, who was Andrew Carnegie’s partner in Carnegie Steel in the late 1800s. The sale of Carnegie Steel to J.P. Morgan led to the formation of U.S. Steel.
Phipps enjoyed immense success as an athlete and won the U.S. Court Tennis Championship on seven occasions during the mid-1930s and mid-1940s. He also was the British Amateur champion in 1949.
He was inducted into the International Court Tennis Hall of Fame in 2001.
Phipps was a member and past chairman of The Jockey Club, a trustee emeritus of the New York Racing Association and an honorary governor of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital at the time of his death.
He was actively involved with Thoroughbred racing for approximately 70 years and campaigned homebred stakes winners such as Buckpasser, Easy Goer and the undefeated Personal Ensign.
He won three Breeders’ Cup races (with Personal Ensign in 1988, Dancing Spree in 1989 and My Flag in 1995) and won Eclipse Awards as the nation’s leading owner and leading breeder in 1988 and as the nation’s leading owner in 1989.
Phipps received numerous awards through the years including the prestigious Mr. Fitz Award from the National Turf Writers Association in 1989 and the C.V. Whitney Achievement Award from the New York Turf Writers in 1998.
His list of champions included: Buckpasser (1965, 1966); Impressive (1966); Vitriolic (1967); Queen of the Stage (1967); Numbered Account (1971); Relaxing (1981); Personal Ensign (1988); Easy Goer (1988); and Heavenly Prize (1994).
Phipps called Easy Goer’s victory in the 1989 Belmont Stakes his “most exciting moment” and “greatest thrill in racing” and said later, “I had waited a long time to win the Belmont Stakes.”
Phipps is survived by two sons, Robert L. Phipps and Ogden Mills Phipps; a daughter, Cynthia Phipps; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and a sister, Mrs. Hans C. Seherr-Thoss.
Funeral arrangements will be private and the family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, 40 E. 52nd St., New York, NY 10022.