Celebrity Spouse

What Happened to Ludlow Ogden Smith, Katharine Hepburn’s Ex-Husband?

Ludlow Ogden Smith and Katharine Hepburn

Late Ludlow Ogen Smith gained notoriety as a result of his marriage to the late, well-known actress Katharine Hepburn, who was renowned in the film industry. Although his ex-wife’s career overshadowed his own, Ludlow also had a successful career. The businessman died of cancer at the age of 80, leaving his fortune behind for his family. Read on to get details of what happened to the late Ludlow Ogen Smith and more.

Profile summary of Ludlow Ogden Smith
  • Name: Ludlow Ogen Smith
  • Date of birth: February 6, 1899
  • Died: July 7, 1979
  • Age at Death: 80 years old
  • Place of birth: Philadelphia
  • Nationality: American
  • Parents: Lewis Lawrence Smith and Gertrude Gouverneur Clemson Smith
  • Spouse: Katharine Hepburn (divorced)
  • Occupation: Businessman
  • Net worth: $100k – $ 1M (Approx)

Who was Ludlow Ogden Smith?

Ludlow Ogden Smith was a prominent Philadelphia businessman who was born to his parents Lewis Lawrence Smith and Gertrude Gouverneur Clemson Smith on February 6, 1899, in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States. There is no information on his family but his father by profession was a lawyer while his mother’s occupation remains unknown.

In terms of his early life, nothing is known about the businessman’s upbringing or whether he shared his home with any siblings. While still alive, Ludlow Ogen was a very private person who rarely revealed details about his life. For example, there is no information available regarding his academic background or the institutions he attended, although he was a well-educated businessman.

Katharine Hepburn’s ex-husband was an accomplished businessman

Ludlow Ogen while alive was an accomplished businessman but he rose to fame following his marriage to actress Katharine Hepburn. Ludlow was the president of Ogden Ludlow Inc and was also the creator of the “Ludlow Formula”, a precursor to computerized systems in financial institutions. Ludlow had also worked as a financial and industrial counsel for the John R. Hall corporation.

There is not much detail on his professional life as to when he began his career and other career exploits he must have embarked on as he was notoriously secretive. In all, he was an accomplished businessman.

Ludlow Ogden Smith

Ludlow Ogden Smith married Katharine Hepburn in 1928

Ludlow Smith and his ex-wife got married in 1928. The lovebirds had met each other for the first time at a prom dance at Bryn Mawr College during her junior year. For the couple, it was love at first sight as they had a strong connection after talking to each other for the first time. On December 12, 1928—just six months after Katharine Hepburn received her college degree—Ludlow Ogen and the actress were united in marriage in a small ceremony at Hepburn’s Hartford home. When they got married, Katharine was 21 years old and Ludlow was 29 years old, To avoid being referred to as “Kate Smith,” Kate convinced Ludlow to change his name during their marriage to Ogden Ludlow. Even though they later got a divorce, Ludlow kept using his new name, Ogden Ludlow.

The pair began living together happily as husband and Ludlow was very supportive of her desire to pursue her dream of being a successful actress. Neither of them had any knowledge of the height Katharine would attain in the movie industry.

Ludlow Ogen and Katharine Hepburn did not have any children together

Ludlow and Katharine were considering raising a family by having children but this did not work out as Katharine was busy with her career. She landed a leading role in the Broadway show The Warrior’s Husband, which took her time and derailed her from the thoughts of being a mother. Going further, she took up another role to feature in the film A Bill of Divorcement, which turned out to be a great success and a major boost in her career. Subsequently, she started traveling a lot and was away from her husband most of the time.

The long-distance relationship that followed did not work out well for the couple and they grew apart. This resulted in their divorce on September 18, 1941, in Hartford, Connecticut. After their divorce, the ex-couple remained close friends and checked on each other till death.

A year after his divorce – on September 28, 1942, Ludlow Ogden went ahead and got married to Elisabeth Albers and they had two children, a son named Lewis Gouverneur Ludlow and a daughter named Katharine Ramsey Ludlow. Katharine Hepburn’s relationship with Ludlow was one of the most enduring of her life.

The scoop on Ludlow Ogden and Katharine Hepburn’s divorce

Katharine Hepburn

The primary factor behind Ludlow Ogden and Katharine Hepburn’s divorce was Katharine’s preference for her career over marriage. The actress was not prepared to start a family and did not prioritize her marriage and husband, which resulted in their divorce. After their divorce, Katharine never forgot to express her appreciation for and acknowledge the contributions of her ex-husband to her success. He gave her a lot of moral support when she was just starting as a struggling actress.

Read: Meet Alec Medlock From the Land Before Time

How Ludlow Ogden Smith died

According to information gathered from sources, Ludlow was diagnosed with cancer and received treatment up until the time of his death. Katharine Hepburn allegedly visited him every weekend. When he was admitted to the hospital, Katharine continued to pay him a weekend visit because their relationship remained friendly.

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