Sally Stanford

Sally Stanford

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Sally Stanford (May 5, 1903 – February 1, 1982) was a madam, restaurateur and the mayor of Sausalito, California.
Born Mabel Janice Busby, in Oregon in 1903, Stanford moved to San Francisco in 1924. From 1940 to 1949, she was madam of an elegant bordello at 1144 Pine Street, on Nob Hill, in a house designed by architect Stanford White.  She adopted the name Stanford as one of many pseudonyms for Mabel Busby. According to her autobiography, Lady of the House, she saw a newspaper headline about Stanford University winning a football game and adopted the surname.

Stanford ran one of San Francisco’s most notorious brothels. San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen, writing about the UN, said “the United Nations was founded at Sally Stanford’s whorehouse,” because of the number of delegates to the organization’s 1945 San Francisco founding conference who were Stanford customers; many actual, if informal, negotiating sessions took place in the brothel’s living room. Then-San Francisco district attorney Pat Brown’s raid on the establishment helped lead to his 1950 election as attorney general for the State of California. The building was demolished in 1961 to build condominiums.

In 1950, Stanford opened a restaurant in Sausalito, California, and became active in local civic affairs.  She ran six times for the Sausalito City Council before winning election in 1972, and was elected mayor at age 72.  She also served as vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce and sponsored a Little League team in 1976.

In 1985, the City of Sausalito commissioned a drinking fountain to honor Sally and her dog, Leland. Local potter Eric Norstad constructed a multiple person drinking fountain with a basin inscribed with the words “Have a drink on Sally”. The runoff poured to a long knee length basin that reads “Have a drink on Leland” for the dogs visiting the site. The drinking fountain is located at the Sausalito Ferry Building.

Stanford died of a heart attack at age 78, in Marin General Hospital, on February 1, 1982.

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