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Joe Carstairs
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Athlete
    (1900-December 18, 1993)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Marion Barbara Carstairs
    Granddaughter of Jabez A. Bostwick, a founding partner of Standard Oil
    Powerboat racer
    Set the women’s speed record on water (1926)
    Bought Whale Cay, Bird Cay, Cat Cay, Devil’s Cay and half of Hoffman Cay in the Bahamas
    She married a French aristocrat solely so she could access her trust fund without having to get her mother’s approval (1918).
    Immediately after her mother died, she had the marriage annulled on grounds of nonconsummation (1921).
    She smoked cigars.
    She owned a Steiff doll named Lord Tod Wadley that she treated as her best friend an lifelong companion.
    She gave Lord Wadley suits made in Saville Row, Italian shoes, a working wristwatch, and his own dolls.
    She moved to the Bahamas to avoid British taxes.
    When she was 50, she and one of her lovers held a contest to see who could hold a burning cigarette against their skin the longest. (She won, and ended up with a permanent scar.)
    Despite her own affairs, she would have adulterers deported from the islands she owned.
    During World War I, she drove ambulances in France for the Red Cross.
    She founded X Garage, a car rental and chauffeuring business with an all-female staff of drivers and mechanics (1920).
    She had affairs with Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Tallulah Bankhead.
    Auto racer Sir Malcolm Campbell called her ‘the greatest sportsman I know.’
    She built a lighthouse, church and school on Whale Cay.

Credit: C. Fishel


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