Poppy Cannon White (Gruskin)

Is your surname White?

Research the White family

Poppy Cannon White (Gruskin)'s Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Lillian White (Gruskin)

Also Known As: "Poppy Cannon"
Birthdate: (69)
Birthplace: Cape Town, South Africa
Death: April 1975 (69)
New York, New York, NY, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Robert Gruskin and Henrietta Gruskin
Wife of Carl L Cannon; Charles Claudius Phiippe and Walter Francis White
Ex-wife of Alf E Askland
Mother of Cynthia Cannon; Jon Alf Askland and Claudia Phiippe

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Poppy Cannon White (Gruskin)

POPPY CANNON, 1905-1975

Poppy Cannon was born Lillian Gruskin in Cape Town, South Africa, on August 2, 1905, the eldest of four children of Robert and Henrietta Gruskin. She came with her parents to the United States in 1908 and settled in Kittening, Pennsylvania, where her father ran a store. She won a scholarship to Vassar College and eventually became a journalist, food editor of Ladies’ Home Journal, House Beautiful, Town and Country, and Mademoiselle, and the author of several cookbooks, including The Can Opener Cookbook, The Bride’s Cookbook, The Presidents’ Cookbook, Aromas and Flavors of the Past and Present (with Alice B. Toklas), and a memoir of her fourth husband, A Gentle Knight: My Husband Walter White. She first married Carl L. Cannon, who became Acquisitions Librarian at Yale in 1931, and bore a daughter Cynthia. Her second husband, the Norway-born Alf E. Askland, an investment counselor and the father of her only son, Jon Alf., died in 1939. In 1941 she married Charles Claudius Philippe, an executive at the Waldorf Hotel, whom she divorced in 1949 and with whom she had a daughter, Claudia. She married Walter F. White in 1949. She died in New York in April, 1975.

Source: Repository:

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library P. O. Box 208240 New Haven, CT 06520-8240 Email: beinecke.library@yale.edu Phone: (203) 432-2972 Fax: (203) 432-4047

Call Number: JWJ MSS 38 Creator: White, Walter Francis, 1893-1955. Title: Walter Francis White and Poppy Cannon papers Dates: circa 1910-1956 Physical Description: 20.85 linear feet (44 boxes, including 4 oversize boxes) Summary: The Walter White and Poppy Cannon Papers document the careers and lives of Walter White and Poppy Cannon and span the dates 1910 to 1956. The Papers contain correspondence, writings, other papers, and photographs documenting Walter White's career as the Secretary for the N.A.A.C.P. and as a writer. Poppy Cannon's career as an editor, writer, and publicity consultant is also documented in the Papers.

Finding Aid Link:

To cite or bookmark this finding aid, use the following address: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.wfwhite ____________________________________


Poppy Cannon (August 2, 1905 - April 1975) was at various times the food editor of the Ladies Home Journal and House Beautiful, and the author of several 1950s cookbooks. She was an early proponent of convenience food: her books included The Can Opener Cookbook (1951) and The Bride's Cookbook (1954). Other books included The President's Cookbook: Practical Recipes from George Washington to the Present (1968).

Her writing style was distinctive and has been described as "relentless", calling as it does in recipes for such measurements as "a splotch of wine", "a flurry of coconut", or "a great swish of sour cream", and advising readers that they could "rassle a lemon pie in a jiff" with "the new wonderstuff called Clovernook".

She was a contemporary of James Beard and Julia Child, and collaborated with Alice B. Toklas on Aromas and Flavors of the Past and Present.

She was born in Cape Town, South Africa to Lithuanian Jewish parents; her original name was Lillian Gruskin. Her sister, Anne Fogarty, became a popular fashion designer during the 1950s. Some of her most popular designs exemplified the "paper doll" shilhouette, as seen in Fogarty's full skirted dresses supported by multiple layers of crinoline petticoats. Author Laura Shapiro's research in "Something From the Oven" suggests that the two kept in touch over the years, but were not close.

Poppy Cannon was the second wife of the NAACP leader Walter Francis White, at a time when such a marriage was viewed as scandalous, not least within the Black community, some of whom viewed White's marriage to a white woman as a betrayal. They married in 1949. At the time of White's death, Cannon was still living with him at their residence in New York City. She wrote a biography of White, Gentle Knight (1956). She died in a fall from the 23rd floor balcony of her apartment at 10 Park Avenue in New York City.


Social Security Death Index about Poppy White

Name: Poppy White SSN: 090-07-9840 Last Residence: 10016 New York, New York, New York, United States of America Born: 2 Aug 1905 Died: Apr 1975 State (Year) SSN issued: New York (Before 1951)

Source Citation: Number: 090-07-9840; Issue State: New York; Issue Date: Before 1951.

Source Information:

Ancestry.com. Social Security Death Index [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2011.

Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.
view all

Poppy Cannon White (Gruskin)'s Timeline

August 2, 1905
Cape Town, South Africa
April 1975
Age 69
New York, New York, NY, United States