Alfonso de Portago

Part One — Death of The Original Playboy: Gunter Sachs, Porfirio Rubirosa
Part Two — Style & Grace: Gianni Agnelli, “Baby” Pignatari, Alessandro “Dado” Ruspoli, 9th Prince of Cerveteri.
Part Three – The Americans: Howard Hughes, John. F. Kennedy

Part Four: “Easy on the Curve”

In this five-part series, Kempt celebrates “The Original Playboys” of the jet set era – a self-proclaimed ‘elite breed of professional pleasure seekers’ who fascinated the world. Part four highlights two men who went hard and fast right up until the very end (which came all too soon): Alfonso de Protago and Prince Aly Khan.

Alfonso de Portago
Alfonso de Portago
Alfonso de Portago

Alfonso de Portago:
Nickname: ”The madcap marquis”
Nationality: Spanish
Occupation: race car driver
Wealth: heir to the household financial fortune
Family: Father Antonio Cabeza de Vaca died during halftime at a polo match at the age of 28. Irish mother Olga Leighton’s first husband, Francis John Mackey, shot himself while terminally ill. Among his ancestors were an explorer, a governor of madrid and a war hero.
Notable Women: Carroll McDaniel, Dorian Leigh, Linda Christian, Crystal Pretty
Passions: Airplanes, racing horses, racing bobsleighs, sailing, fast cars, skiing
Age of Death:
29
Cause of Death: with forty miles to the finish line at the mille miglia grand prix, portago blew a tire on his ferrari going 150mph, causing the car to go into the crowd, killing five spectators, then veered back across the canal and caused the deaths of five other onlookers on the right side of the road. Portago’s body was found in two sections.
What to learn from Alfonso de Portago: Wear a seatbelt and go easy on the curve.
Quotations: “All drivers are naturally chasing women around.”

Prince Aly Khan
Prince Aly Khan
Prince Aly Khan

Prince Aly Khan:
Nickname: “The Love Prince”
Nationality: Pakistani
Occupation: Pakistan’s representative to the UN, vice president of UN General Assembly
Wealth: $800 million
Family: Son of Aga Khan III, the head of the Ismaili Muslims, and the father of Aga Khan IV
Notable Women: Rita Hayworth, Hon. Joan Guinness, British debutante Margaret Whigham, Thelma Viscountess Furness, Pamela Churchill, Gene Tierney, French model Bettina
Passions: Military, diplomacy, horses, fast cars. Owned 900 thoroughbreds at stud farms in Ireland and France
Age at Death: 49
Cause of Death: Crashed his Lancia head-on into an oncoming car en route to a Paris party. Chauffeur, who he’d asked to sit in the back seat, lunged forward upon impact and broke Khan’s neck.
Quotations: On marrying Hon. Joan Guiness: ”I had been involved with several women. I was tired of trouble. Joan was a sane and solid girl, and I thought if I married her, I would stay out of trouble.”
What to learn from Aly: Keep your chauffeur in the driver’s seat.

Part One – Death of The Original Playboy: Gunter Sachs, Porfirio Rubirosa
Part Two – Style & Grace: Gianni Agnelli, “Baby” Pignatari, Alessandro “Dado” Ruspoli, 9th Prince of Cerveteri
Part Three – The Americans: Howard Hughes, John. F. Kennedy
Part Five – The Party’s Over: Errol Flynn, Jorge Guinle and Don Carlos de Beistegui y de Yturbe

—C.B.S.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • C. Brian Smith