Susan Mary Alsop was considered the grand dame of the Washington, DC social scene. At dinner parties in her Georgetown townhouse, she brought together men and women at the top level of politics, the media, and diplomacy. She was the daughter of a diplomat and grew up in South America and Europe. As a young woman, she went to work for Vogue magazine before marrying another diplomat, William Patten, Jr., and going with him to his posting in Paris in 1944. There she successfully worked the diplomatic social circuit, hosting the rich and powerful and being described as "stylish, intelligent, loving and good, and very funny." After her first husband's death, she married journalist Joseph Alsop in 1961. She established herself as a Washington hostess and wrote several books.