James Henry Roberts Cromwell (June 4, 1896 – March 19, 1990) was an American diplomat, candidate for the United States Senate, author, and one-time husband of Doris Duke, "the richest girl in the world".[1]

James H. R. Cromwell
James H. R. Cromwell2.jpg
James Henry Roberts Cromwell

(1896-06-04)June 4, 1896
DiedMarch 19, 1990(1990-03-19) (aged 93)
Spouse(s)Delphine Ione Dodge
(m. 1926; div. 1928)
Doris Duke
(m. 1935; div. 1943)

Maxine MacFetridge
(m. 1948; died 1968)

Germaine Benjamin
(m. 1971; died 1987)
RelativesLouise Cromwell Brooks (sister)
Oliver Eaton Cromwell, Jr. (brother)

Life and careerEdit

He was born on June 4, 1896 in Manhattan, the son of Eva Roberts and Oliver Eaton Cromwell. His sister Louise Cromwell Brooks was the first wife of Douglas MacArthur and the third wife of Lionel Atwill. He grew up in Philadelphia after his widowed mother married Edward T. Stotesbury in 1912 and moved there.[2]

Cromwell's first wife was automotive company heiress Delphine Ione Dodge, the only daughter of Horace Dodge of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, one of the two co-founders of the Dodge Motor Company. They had one daughter, Christine Cromwell, in 1922 and divorced in 1928.

In 1935, Cromwell married 22-year-old Doris Duke.[2] Both supported Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal. He published books to present his economic ideas and advocated tighter control of the Federal Reserve.[1] In 1940, for 142 days,[3] he was the United States Ambassador to Canada. He resigned to enter the election for U.S. Senator from New Jersey, a race he lost.[4] After bitter and protracted legal proceedings Cromwell and Duke divorced in 1948.

Cromwell was married to his third wife, Maxine MacFetridge, from April 24, 1948,[5] until her death in 1968.[6] Their daughter, Maxine Hope Cromwell (later Hopkins[7]), was born in New York on November 17, 1948.[8] Germaine Benjamin was Cromwell's fourth and last wife, from 1971 until her death in 1987.[1]

Cromwell died in the Marin Terrace retirement home in Mill Valley, California, at the age of 93.[1]

Books by CromwellEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Fowler, Glenn (March 23, 1990). "James H. R. Cromwell Dies at 93. Married 'Richest Girl in World'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-07-03. James H. R. Cromwell, a wealthy businessman who was briefly a politician and diplomat and best known in the 1930's and 40's as the husband of the richest girl in the world, Doris Duke, died of a pulmonary ailment on Monday at the Marin Terrace retirement home in Mill Valley, Calif. He was 93 years old.
  2. ^ a b Pony Duke. Too Rich.The Family Secrets of Doris Duke. HarpersCollins, 1996. p. 83ff.
  3. ^ "U.S. Chiefs of Mission to Canada". Embassy of the United States of America, Ottawa. 2005-06-29. Archived from the original on 2007-12-09. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  4. ^ "Moffat to Ottawa". Time. 1940-06-10. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  5. ^ James Cromwell Marries Maxine MacFetridge Here, Wash. Post, Apr. 25, 1948, p. S1.
  6. ^ Mrs. Cromwell, Wife of Diplomat, Wash. Post, July 9, 1968, p. B4 (obituary).
  7. ^ Maxine Cromwell Is Married To Dale Hopkins at St. James' , N.Y. Times, Dec. 2, 1974, p. 39.
  8. ^ Daughter Is Born To J.H.R. Cromwells, Wash. Post, Nov. 18, 1948, p. 3.
Party political offices
Preceded by
William H. J. Ely
Democratic Nominee for the U.S. Senate (Class 1) from New Jersey
Succeeded by
Elmer H. Wene