Mesta, Perle Skirvin | 1951
- Birth and Death Year | 1892-1975
- Induction Year | 1951
- Profession | Civic Leader
- Oklahoma Connection | Mesta came to Oklahoma with her father, William Skirvin, and grew up in the historic Oklahoma City landmark Skirvin Hotel.
- Hometown | Oklahoma City
Perle Mesta’s “most memorable” party was given in London, England, in 1953 and included members of the royal family, movie stars, diplomats, and generals. Scotland Yard guarded the jewels of 125 dinner guests and another 575 dance guests.
“Elegant foods and expensive entertainment aren’t prerequisites to a successful party…its warmth and friendliness that counts.” - Perle Mesta
Born in Michigan, Perle Skirvin Mesta attended private schools in Battle Creek and later in Galveston, Texas, before arriving in Oklahoma City where her father established the landmark Skirvin Hotel. She later took up intensive study of voice and piano at the Sherwood School of Music (now the Sherwood Community Music School) in Chicago and aspired to become an opera singer before meeting and marrying George Mesta, a machine company mogul in Pittsburgh in 1916. After his death in 1925, Mrs. Mesta was elected to the board of directors of the company and became active in the National Woman’s Party, working for equal rights, and attended the dedication of the group’s international headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1939. As the 1944 delegate from Arizona and the 1948 delegate from Rhode Island she attended the Democratic National Conventions and was a major fundraiser and co-chairman of Harry Truman’s Inaugural Ball. In 1949, President Truman appointed her Ambassador to Luxembourg. A decade of world travel led to a syndicated New York Herald Tribune column and meetings with nearly 20 heads of governments. She became legendary across America as “the hostess with the mostest.”