Illinois State Library

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Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Marjabelle Young Stewart  

Pen Name: 


Born: May 16, 1924 in Council Bluffs, Iowa


Illinois Connection

Moved to Kewanee, Illnois in 1965 after marrying attorney William E. Stewart.

Biographical and Professional Information

Marjabelle Young Stewart was an American writer and expert on etiquette.During her lifetime, she was dubbed the "Queen of Courtesy" by Newsweek and was the most-published etiquette author and educator in the country. Marjabelle Young Stewart was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa to a great-grandson of poet William Cullen Bryant. She lived in an orphanage after her parents divorced. She married scientist Jack Davison Young and moved to Washington, D.C. in 1941. She became a model and came into contact with Washington society as a result. She moved to Kewanee, Illinois in 1965 after marriage to attorney William E. Stewart. Stewart began teaching children's etiquette classes in Washington, DC in 1965; some of her earliest students included Tricia and Julie Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower's granddaughter, Barbara. She went on to teach etiquette and manners to American Presidents such as Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.Her network of etiquette classes, which at its height had locations in several hundred U.S. cities, were called White Gloves (for girls) and Blue Blazers (for boys). She also conducted seminars in almost 400 national and international cities for nearly every sector of the public, including business executives, brides- and grooms-to-be, college students, and children. Stewart was the most sough-out veteran in the etiquette arena having appeared as an expert on manners and decorum on almost every national program - "The Tonight Show", "The Today Show", "Good Morning America", "Larry King Live", "Jenny Jones", "Leeza", "Home and Family", "The Oprah Winfrey Show", plus many more. She had also been featured in in almost every newspaper and magazine in the country, making her the leading expert on the dos and don'ts of our society. She also released annual lists of the "Top Ten Most-Polite Cities" and "Top Ten Most-Polite Celebrities," which always received national media attention.Stewart died of pneumonia at a Kewanee nursing home, at the age of 82.

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