The endless family connections of Amanda Burden

By Laurie Bennett

April 6, 2011 at 8:45am

Amanda Burden may well be the most glamourous official in New York city government.

In the nine years since her appointment by Mayor Michael Bloomberg as planning commissioner, she has brought a new aesthetic to city life.

Her advocacy for parks and open space, and her involvement in even the smallest design details have reportedly antagonized many developers, but her pedigree, connections and successes have muted much of the criticism.

Burden’s mother was the beautiful socialite Babe Paley, one of Truman Capote’s “swans.” Her father, Babe’s first husband, was Stanley Mortimer, heir to the Standard Oil fortune.

Amanda Burden
Amanda Burden

Her stepfather, Babe’s first husband, was Bill Paley, former chairman of CBS.

Burden’s own romantic history is equally star-studded. Her first husband, the late Carter Burden, was a descendant of Cornelius Vanderbilt, a member of the New York City Council and owner of the Village Voice.

Her second husband, Steve Ross, was CEO of Time Warner. Ross died in 1992, at age 65. More recently, Burden has had an on-again, off-again dating relationship with TV talk show host Charlie Rose.

The alliteration is inexcusable, we know, but money, multiple marriages and Amanda make for amazing Muckety maps.

Spend enough time expanding various family members, and you’ll find Cushings, Whitneys, Harrimans, Roosevelts and Astors.

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