SELDES--Aileen Patterson. Aileen "Lee" Patterson Seldes, died peacefully in her New York City on April 7th from complications of pneumonia. She was 85. A resident of Manhattan and Water Mill, Long Island, Lee was the eldest daughter of Margaret W. and Robert P. Patterson, the former Under Secretary of War during World War II, and Secretary of War (1945-1947) under President Harry S. Truman. Lee graduated from Radcliffe College, class of 1950. She was a reporter for Newsweek, and also wrote for Collier's, Barron's, The Village Voice and Esquire. She is the author of "The Legacy of Mark Rothko," the definitive account of the trial of the artist's heirs against Marlborough Gallery. A marriage to Timothy Seldes of New York ended in divorce. She is survived by a son, Gilbert Seldes, a daughter, Elisabeth Seldes Annacone, and a grandson, Emmett Carnahan. Also surviving are two sisters, Susan H. Patterson and Virginia P. Montgomery and a brother, Robert P. Patterson, Jr. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 26th, at 2pm, at the Unitarian Church of All Souls, 1157 Lexington Avenue. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Published in The New York Times on Apr. 13, 2014