Mildred O. Knopf
Devoted Civic Contributor, Cook Book Editor
Mildred Knopf is an exceptional human being who says that her greatest gift is "the achievement of friendship."
Educated in private school for "young ladies", she attended extension courses at Columbia University and traveled extensively with her family. In 1926, she married Edwin Harris Knopf, brother of the distinguished publisher, Alfred A. Knopf. In 1927 she and her husband returned to the U.S. from Italy to Edwin Knopf's business, the Broadway theatre. In 1927 and '28 they were in Baltimore, where her husband enjoyed great success producing plays at a summer theatre. "I treasure the memory that Katherine Hepburn enjoyed her first and immediate success in our summer theatre. Thus began a friendship treasured through the years."
In 1928 they moved to Los Angeles with their three children, Christopher, Wendy and Jonathan, who are with us to enhance our tribute to their irrepressible mother.
Edwin encouraged her to compile a cookbook of her recipes, which began a prolific "cookbook" career. Mrs. Knopf enjoyed great success with six completed cookbooks, including: The Perfect Hostess; Cook, My Darling Daughter and Around the World: A Cookbook for Young People.
As America entered World War II, Mrs. Louis B. Mayer organized a group of women to establish canteens to assist returning service men. Eventually this project grew to over 1000 volunteer women who voted Mildred Knopf as President. The volunteers greeted and assisted the G.I.'s with friendly words, coffee, cigarettes and candy. As the war continued, they established a hospital for returning service personnel. The volunteers provided free telephone calls to wives, mothers and sweethearts, even as the veterans were being treated for their wounds. "As I remember those days at the canteens and the emotional experiences of those telephone calls, I still have to choke back tears."
Since those days, her interests have expanded to "painting in wools", a form of needlework, using her own designs.
Mildred Knopf, now 91, is recovering from a serious car accident. However, she accepts the joy of living, contributing and making more good new friends with zest. As she says, "It is difficult to be still!"
Women's International Center is proud to acknowledge and honor Mildred Knopf with a Living Legacy Award.
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