Rubirosa: The Last Playboy


And let us now praise famous men, with particular attention to those who were famous only for being famous. They were heroes, too—they kept tongues wagging and gossip columnists gossiping and rumors flying, until they didn’t any longer and slipped into oblivion. But occasionally one of these figures rouses the interest of a journalist or biographer or social historian, and then he’s back among us—interesting as an artifact of a vanished zeitgeist if not interesting in himself. Which brings us to the latest disinterred hero of this species: Porfirio Rubirosa, or The Last Playboy, as his biographer, Shawn Levy, calls him. Raise your hands, boys and girls, if any of you under the age of 50 remember him. It doesn’t count if you’re from the Dominican Republic, have specialized in the history of polo, or have been studying the memoirs of Zsa Zsa Gabor (either version). Zsa Zsa and “Rubi” specialized in each other when they weren’t marrying everyone else; in fact, they would seem to have been each other’s nearest equivalent, their lives lived in headlines, nightclubs and between the sheets, although she was sometimes to be found in front of a camera, while he could be found on a horse or behind the wheel of a racing car.

more from the NY Observer here.