George D. Widener, Jr.

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George D. Widener, Jr.
Born (1889-03-11)March 11, 1889
New York City, New York
United States
Died December 8, 1971(1971-12-08) (aged 82)
Whitemarsh Township, Pennsylvania, United States
Residence Erdenheim Farm, Whitemarsh Township
Occupation Businessman, philanthropist, racehorse owner/breeder
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jessie Sloane (1883-1968) (m. 1917–68)
Children Diana Dodge (stepdaughter)
Parent(s) George Dunton Widener &
Eleanor Elkins

George Dunton Widener, Jr. (March 11, 1889 - December 8, 1971) was an American businessman and thoroughbred racehorse owner; one of only five people ever designated "Exemplars of Racing" by the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.


Born into the prominent and wealthy Widener family of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he was the younger son of George Dunton Widener and Eleanor Elkins, and brother to Harry Elkins Widener (1885-1912) and Eleanor Widener (1891-1953). His grandfathers, the traction (streetcar) magnate Peter A. B. Widener (1834-1915) and the oil & steel financier William Lukens Elkins (1832-1903), were long-time friends and business partners. At age 23, he lost both his father and brother when the RMS Titanic sank in the Atlantic on her maiden voyage on April 15, 1912.

File:Sheep Barn, Erdenheim Farm Highsmith.jpg
Erdenheim Farm, Widener's 446-acre estate and horse farm in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

His sister married Fitz Eugene Dixon in 1912.

In 1917 he married divorcée Jessie Sloane Dodge, daughter of Henry T. Sloane and Jessie Robbins of New York City, former wife of Willam Earl Dodge, and became stepfather to Diana Dodge. [1]

Greatly influenced by his uncle Joseph E. Widener, head of New York's Belmont Park and builder of Miami, Florida's Hialeah Park racetrack, he became involved in thoroughbred horse racing. He owned Old Kenney Farm (now Green Gates Farm) in Lexington, Kentucky.

From 1960 to 1968 he served as president of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

George D. Widener Jr. died in 1971 at his Erdenheim Farm, in Whitemarsh Township, Pennsylvania, north of Philadelphia. He left the farm and his personal fortune to his nephew, Fitz Eugene Dixon, Jr.

The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals at the New Bolton Center is named in his honor.