|From||United States of America|
|Birth||16 May 1941, New York City, USA|
|Death||27 April 2003, Palm Beach, USA (aged 61 years)|
|Residence||New York City, USA|
Francis Alexander Shields, Jr. (May 16, 1941 – April 25, 2003) was an American businessman and an executive at Revlon in New York City, best known as the father of actress Brooke Shields.
Early life and education
Shields was born in New York City, the eldest son of Francis Xavier Alexander Sr. (1909–1975), a top-ranking American tennis player, and Italian Princess Donna Marina Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi (1916–1960). His mother's family is descended from several Italian princely families (most notably Borgia, Medici, d'Este, di Savoia). Shields' uncle was Don Alessandro Torlonia, 5th Prince di Civitella-Cesi, the husband of the Spanish Infanta Beatriz de Borbón y Battenberg, meaning Shields and King Juan Carlos of Spain share cousins in the Torlonia-de Borbón family. Together, his parents had two children: (1) Francis, and (2) Marina Shields (born 1943)
After his parents' divorce, his father married Katharine Mortimer in 1949. Mortimer had a previous child, Christine Mortimer Biddle, from her first marriage to Oliver Cadwell Biddle (of the Biddle family of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). Before their eventual divorce, Shields and Mortimer had three children together: Alston Shields, William Xavier Orin Hunt Shields, and Katharine Shields, all half-siblings to Frank Shields.
He attended the Buckley School in Manhattan and St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, before graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he captained the crew that rowed in the Henley Royal Regatta in 1962 and was a member of St. Anthony Hall. An avid sportsman, Shields never lost his love of rowing and founded the Power Ten New York, an organization dedicated to the sport, in 1980.
Shields started his career on Wall Street, working for Loeb Rhoades, after which he moved into sales and marketing for Revlon, Estee Lauder and Handy Associates, an executive recruit firm in New York City. In 1989, Shields and his family moved to Palm Beach, Florida, where he formed his own real estate firm, Frank Shields Associates.
In 1964, he married Maria Theresia "Teri" Schmon. In 1966, they divorced when their only child together was then five months old:
- Brooke Christa Shields (b. 1965), who in 1997 married Andre Agassi (b. 1970). They divorced in 1999 and in 2001, she married Chris Henchy (b. 1964).
- Rowan Frances Henchy (b. 2003)
- Grier Hammond Henchy (b. 2006)
In 1970, Shields married Diana "Didi" Lippert, former wife of Thomas Gore Auchincloss, a farmer in Eagle Bridge, NY (the son of Hugh D. Auchincloss, brother of Nina Gore Auchincloss, half-brother of Gore Vidal, and a stepbrother of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis), with whom she had Thomas Gore Auchincloss, Jr. and Diana Luise Auchincloss (born 1964). Together with Didi, Shields had three daughters:
- Marina Shields, who married Thomas W. Purcell (former co-CIO of Viking Global Investors) in 1997
- Olympia Torlonia Shields
- Christina Torlonia Shields
An avid hunter and fisherman, Shields spent much of his free time at the camp he owned in rural west Florida, Canoe Creek.
In 2003, Shields died in Palm Beach, Florida, of prostate cancer at the age of 61.