Ivan Sergeyevich Obolensky

Ivan Sergeyevich Obolensky
Born (1925-05-15) 15 May 1925
London, England
Spouse(s) Claire Elizabeth McGinnis
(m. 1949—1956; divorced)
Mary Elizabeth Morris
(m. 1959—2006; her death)
Children Marina Ivanovna Knyaginya Obolensky
Ivan Ivanovich Knyaz Obolensky
David Ivanovich Knyaz Obolensky
Sergei Ivanovich Knyaz Obolensky
Parent(s) Sergei Platonovich Obolensky
Ava Alice Muriel Astor
Relatives John Jacob Astor IV (grandfather)
Ava Lowle Willing (grandmother)
William Vincent Astor (uncle)
John Jacob Astor VI (half-uncle)

Prince Ivan Sergeyevich Obolensky (born 15 May 1925) is an American New York City-based financial analyst and corporate officer. He served in the United States Navy and worked as a publisher.[1]

Early life

Obolensky was born in London, Middlesex, on 15 May 1925, to Sergei Platonovich "Serge" Obolensky and Ava Alice Muriel Astor. Through his mother, he is a great-great-great-grandson of John Jacob Astor and the elder grandson of John Jacob Astor IV, who died on the RMS Titanic.[1]

Ivan was educated at St. George's School in Newport, Rhode Island, and graduated from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1947. While at Yale, he was a member of St. Elmo, a senior secret society.


After Yale, Obolensky became a writer working for Telavid Inc. Imports, and went on to serve with the United States Navy as a pilot. In 1957, he formed a publishing firm McDowell, Obolensky Inc. with a partner, David McDowell. The firm published James Agee's Pulitzer Prize novel, A Death in the Family (1957), and was the U.S. publisher for Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart (1959). It was dissolved in 1960. Obolensky then formed a second publishing house, Ivan Obolensky, Inc. This firm continued through 1965, when he joined the investment banking firm of A. T. Brod & Company as a partner.[1]

Throughout his main career on Wall Street as a financial analyst, Obolensky has covered many prestigious accounts. He was Vice President of Moseley, Hallgarten, Estabrook & Weeden Inc., Stock brokers and is currently Vice President of Shields & Company. Obolensky is an active member of the philanthropic community in New York. He has, for many years, been an active supporter of the Soldiers', Sailors', Marines', Coast Guard and Airmen's Club,[2] and New York's International Debutante Ball,[3] which benefits the club. He is also Treasurer of the Russian Nobility Association in America, Inc.,[4] and the New York Prior of the Orthodox Order of St. John.[5]

Marriages and children

Obolensky first married in New York City on 10 October 1949 to Claire Elizabeth McGinnis (born in San Francisco, California, on 7 March 1929).[6] The marriage ended in divorce in 1956.[7] She was educated at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in San Francisco, California, United States, the Finch Junior College in Manhattan, New York City, and at Miss Burke's School in San Francisco. Claire was the daughter of Felix Signoret McGinnis (25 January 1883 – 17 March 1945), Vice-President of the Southern Pacific Company and Director of the Los Angeles Turf Club, Inc., and wife (m. June 1917) Clara Leonhardt (14 April 1887 – 25 January 1984). Claire later married secondly Garrick C. Stephenson (1927 – 3 February 2007), without issue.[7]

On 22 October 1959, he married Mary Elizabeth Morris (16 January 1934 – 21 August 2006).[8][9]

Ivan has one daughter and two sons by his first marriage, and one son by his second marriage:


  1. 1 2 3 Edwin McDowell (9 October 1989). "The Media Business: Financial Analyst of Publishing Companies Who's Done a Thing or Two". New York Times. Even if there were such a thing as a typical Wall Street investment banker, Ivan Obolensky, the senior vice president of research for Josephthal & Company, would not be it. That is, not unless the typical investment banker was also the London-born son of a Russian prince and a grandson of John Jacob Astor, who is said to have been the wealthiest man in America when he went down with the Titanic. Mr. Obolensky, 64 years old, is also a Yale graduate, novelist, former United States Navy pilot and one-time book publisher whose first list produced James Agee's Pulitzer Prize novel, A Death in the Family. .....
  2. "A Welcome Mat for Soldiers and Sailors". The Wall Street Journal. 4 October 2010.
  3. "The Luckiest Girls in the World". The New York Observer. 30 December 2010.
  4. "Officers". Russian Nobility Association Website. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  5. Cardile, Paul. "Charity, Good Deeds, Culture: The Knights of the Orthodox Order of St. John, Russian Grand Priory". Social Register. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  6. "Claire Obolensky Excommunicated After Wedding in Russian Church". New York Times. 14 October 1949. Retrieved 26 October 2010. The New York Roman Catholic Archdiocese announced yesterday the excommunication from the church of the former Miss Claire Elizabeth McGinnis, who was married here on Monday to Ivan Obolensky.
  7. 1 2 http://www.howardmcginnis.com/retrospect/index.php?m=family&id=I34655
  8. "Paid Notice: Deaths OBOLENSKY, MARY ELIZABETH MORRIS". New York Times. Retrieved August 2006. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  9. http://bellevueholidayrentals.com/russianaristocracy/600.html
  10. "Mary Catherine Hicks Engaged". New York Times. 1 February 1981. Retrieved 5 May 2010. Mary Catherine Hicks and David Ivanovich Obolensky plan to be married March 21. Announcement of their engagement has been made by Mr. and Mrs. George Thomas Hicks of Nashville, parents of the future bride. Her fiance is the son of Mrs. Garrick C. Stephenson and Ivan Obolensky, both of New York, and a descendant of the original John Jacob Astor..... His father is a vice president of Moseley, Hallgarten, Estabrook & Weeden Inc., stockbrokers. The future bridegroom is a grandson of Clara Leonhardt of San Francisco, the late Felix S. McGinnis, who was a vice president of the Southern Pacific Railroad; the late Ava Astor, and the late Serge Obolensky of New York, who ran his own public relations concern.

External links

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