LGBTQ Heroes: Philip Sassoon
The gay man who became an important politician.
Philip Sassoon was a British politician, art collector, and social host, entertaining many celebrity guests at his homes in England.
He was a cousin of the war poet, Siegfried Sassoon.
Born in 1888, Sassoon was a member of two prominent families – Sassoon and Rothschild.
They were wealthy and well-connected.
Philip was educated at Farnborough Prep school and Eton before going up to Oxford.
Philip entered Parliament in 1912.
He was Member of Parliament for Hythe from 1912, succeeding his father.
Philip had a reputation for being one of the greatest hosts in Britain.
Although he owned a house at Park Lane, Sassoon arranged for Herbert Baker to design another home for him in 1912, Port Lympne in Kent.
Included in the completed building of Port Lympne was a bachelor’s wing with Moorish courtyard. Its purpose was to accommodate young airmen from nearby Romney Marsh flying field. Aviation was one of Philip’s passions.
He also owned Trent Park and hired Philip Tilden to largely rebuild that mansion located in Cockfosters.
Sassoon was said to have lived an openly homosexual life – probably aided by his wealth and social connections, Sassoon appears to have somehow successfully navigated the taboos of the time.
Sassoon died in 1939, aged 50, of complications from influenza.