Sumner Welles and the Pullman Porters

449px-Conf56-03_march-56Sumner Welles was an adviser to F.D.R., Under Secretary of State from 1937-1943, the man who created the United Nations, and the source of the phrase “No comment,” which Winston Churchill made famous. (I had no idea!)

He was also a homosexual, something that became abundantly clear in 1940 on the train back to D.C. from William Bankhead’s funeral. You know, the father of Tallulah? Allegedly, Welles rang for a porter repeatedly and when a bunch of them showed up in his cabin, exposed himself and made lewd comments. It was enough to land him on the cover of Confidential Magazine in 1956, the same issue that famously proclaimed Frank Sinatra the “Tarzan of the boudoir” because of his Wheaties intake.

The funeral train for Tallulah’s father. Isn’t that too delicious? I wonder what Tallu thought.


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