Clare Boothe Luce (April 10, 1903 - October 9, 1987) was an American editor, playwright, social activist, politician, journalist, and diplomat. Witty, perceptive and determined, she was also a prominent figure in New York society.
Anne Clare Boothe, the illegitimate child of dancer Anna Snyder and William Franklin Boothe, was born in New York City. Although her father, a violinist, deserted the family when Clare was nine, he instilled in his daughter a love of music and literature. Parts of her childhood were spent in Chicago, Illinois, Memphis, Tennessee, and, with her mother, in France. Boothe attended schools in Garden City and Tarrytown, New York, graduating in 1919. Her original ambition was to become an actress and she understudied Mary Pickford on Broadway at age ten, then briefly attended a school of the theater in New York City. While on a European tour with her mother and stepfather, Dr. Albert E. Austin, Boothe became interested in the Women's suffrage movement.
Boothe married George Tuttle Brokaw, a New York clothing manufacturer, on August 10, 1923 at the age of 20. They had one daughter, Ann Clare Brokaw. Brokaw was an alcoholic and the marriage ended in divorce in 1929. On November 23, 1935, Boothe married Henry Robinson Luce, the wealthy and influential publisher of Time Magazine, Fortune, Life Magazine and Sports Illustrated.
On January 11, 1944, Luce's daughter Ann, while a senior at Stanford University, was killed in an automobile accident. As a result of this tragedy, Luce explored psychotherapy and religion, ultimately joining the Roman Catholic Church in 1946. She and her husband "Harry" experimented with LSD under the tutelage of Gerald Heard and Sidney Cohen in the late 1950s.