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OGDEN MILLS PHIPPS
Born: September 8, 1940
Ogden Mills (Dinny) Phipps was born in New York City, son of Ogden and Lillian Bostwick Phipps. His grandfather Henry C. Phipps was Yale class of 1902s and his half-brother Henry O. Phipps was Yale class of 1953. Dinny prepared for Yale at Deerfield.
At Yale he was a member of Pierson College and Fence Club. Dinny was a superb athlete and won his major Y in both squash and tennis. In Pierson he roomed with Bill Moore and Ed Thorne. Dinny was a history major. He took a year off sophomore year and graduated in 1963.
Dinny was the grandson of Henry Phipps, a partner of Andrew Carnegie in the iron and steel industry. In 1926 his grandmother Gladys Livingston Phipps started the fabled Wheatley Stable which bred many storied thoroughbreds including Seabiscut and Bold Ruler, sire of Secretariat. His father also raced horses but Dinny developed his own breeding operation at Clairborne Farm, in Kentucky. In 2013 his horse Orb won the Kentucky Derby, a prize which had eluded his family for three generations, and his stable won many more stakes races over the years. Devoted as he and his family were to thoroughbred racing, he could also laugh at their biggest mistake: in a coin toss in 1969 for the offspring of Bold Rider they chose to wait a year for the foal, thus losing the chance to own Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown champion and one of the greatest horses of all time.
According to Joe Draper, the New York Times racing correspondent:
"The biggest legacy Phipps left to the sport, however, was a result of his 32-year run as chairman of the Jockey Club, a company that started out as a breed registry, but one he transformed into a technology, media and research conglomerate. Its offshoots have poured tens of millions of dollars back into making the sport safer and more humane. It didn't always make Phipps the most popular man in the sport, especially when he pushed for stricter drug rules and stiffer punishment for cheaters."
Dinny explained his work on behalf of the sport in October 2014 at a speech in Paris as follows:
"Quite simply, I see it as a way of giving back to a sport that has provided me with so much enjoyment. That was probably passed on to me from my dad, and I try to instill that sense of responsibility and commitment in my kids. If we care about the future of our sport, our equine athletes cannot be burdened by the taint of drugs."
Dinny also served as chairman of the New York Racing Association, the organization which runs the tracks of Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga from 1976 to 1983.
After graduation Dinny continued to play championship level court tennis, winning induction into the International Court Tennis Hall of Fame and the national doubles title several times. He also was an active tuna fisherman and powerboat racer. Gordon Cooper, one of the original Mercury astronauts, piloted his oceangoing powerboats in long distance races in the 1960s.
From 1976 to 1994 he was chairman of Bessemer Trust, the private bank and investment adviser established by the Phipps family in 1907. He served as chairman of Bessemer Securities from 1982 until 1994 and sat on the boards of both companies until retiring in 2015.
Dinny has the distinction of being our only classmate to date to be memorialized both in the regular New York Times obituary section and also its Sunday Sports Section.
Dinny died in Manhattan on April 6, 2016, of pancreatic cancer. He had homes in Palm Beach, in Long Island and in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He is survived by his wife, the former Andrea Broadfoot, and 6 children: his son Ogden Phipps II, and daughters Daisy Phipps Pulito, Kayce Reagan Hughes, Kelley Reagan Farish, Lilly Phipps Cardwell and Samantha Phipps Alvarez, and 24 grandchildren. His son Odgen succeeded him in the leadership of Bessemer Trust and his daughter Daisy as an owner and racing manager of Phipps Stable at Belmont Park in New York.