Babe Paley? Wallis Simpson? Suzy Knickerbocker? Mrs. J. Gordon Douglas Sr.? Gregg Moran? Truman Capote? Dorothy Parker? Joan Rivers? zenit Carburetor? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: afford wealth and a svelte human body have end up being idealized purposes in some cultural milieus. Right here are 3 versions the a pertinent maxim:

You have the right to never be as well rich or too thin.You can’t be as well thin or too rich.A woman have the right to never be as well thin or as well rich.

You are watching: Who said you can never be too rich or too thin

As expertise of the eating obstacle anorexia and bulimia has actually grown this saying has become more sinister come some. Would certainly you please discover its origin?

Quote Investigator: The earliest enhance located by QI appeared in the July 1963 worry of the U.S. Fashion newspaper “Harper’s Bazaar” in ~ an article titled “High life on short Calories”. The attribution to be anonymous. Boldface added to excerpts: 1

Ponder, now, our week’s worth of diet menus, based upon the latter part of the wise old adage, “You have the right to never be also rich or also thin.” High life on low calories, indeed!

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Human bodies space not the only entities which deserve to be described as rich and also thin. In 1920 an advertisement for a janice Carburetor showed up in a Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania newspaper. An automobile carburetor mixes air and also fuel because that an internal combustion engine. The mixture have the right to be defined as rich and thin: 2

Never too rich, never too thin, this mixture provides uninterrupted effectiveness — and therefore, economy.

In 1963 the adage under investigation appeared in “Harper’s Bazaar” as pointed out previously.

In April 1967 the gossip columnist Suzy Knickerbocker described an occasion held in ~ a personal dancing club. The saying was attributed come Mrs. J. Gordon Douglas Sr. That Newport that was one of the attendees: 3

It is Mrs. Douglas that is responsible for one of the many trenchant remarks of current years. “A woman,” quoth she, “can never ever be as well thin or as well rich.” Think about it.

In July 1967 a columnist in a Montgomery, Alabama newspaper published the adhering to statement. The terms “rich” and also “thin” were permuted, and “socialite” was spelled together “socialit”: 4

A Newport socialit sums it increase for every womankind once she states, “A woman deserve to never be as well rich or as well thin.”

In October 1967 a publication reviewer in the “Chicago Tribune” that Illinois referred to the remark formerly printed by Suzy Knickerbocker: 5

“A woman have the right to never be also rich or as well thin,” said one of the Beautiful people as report by Suzy Knickerbocker last spring.

In may 1968 the socialite Babe Paley, mam of tv executive wilhelm S. Paley, was provided credit for the expression within a gossip shaft in the “Pittsburgh Post-Gazette” that Pennsylvania: 6

And ns said: “Well, of course, you understand her many profound saying? She said that a mrs can’t be also rich or also thin.”

And she said: “Oh, anyone knows she stated THAT! for a while there, they were going to put it on our silver dollars instead of In God we Trust because it more near reflects our modern-day faith.”

In march 1969 a newspaper piece pointing out a Palm Beach, Florida couple Gregg and Daniel Moran pointed out a pillow emblazoned with the saying: 7

On a square cushion tossed top top the large bed in the Moran’s glass-walled bedroom, she has collection down the post in needlepoint: “You can not be too rich or as well thin.”

In might 1970 an article around the Duchess of Windsor (Wallis Simpson) mentioned another pillow displaying the adage: 8

There is a needlepoint pillow the rests ~ above the edge of one of the beige satin sofas in the Duke and Duchess that Windsor’s Waldorf Towers suite. The says, “You can’t be too rich or too thin.”

This saying absolutely reflects the mrs — the Duchess that Windsor — that is sit at the other finish of the sofa — she wit, she love the life, her fashionable figure.

In 1979 “The san Francisco Examiner” that California released a profile of the popular actor David Niven. He tentatively meeting the saying to a famed wit: 9

… ns think Dorothy Parker stated you deserve to never be as well rich or as well thin

In 1980 quotation researcher Alec Lewis released the reference “The Quotable quotations Book”, and also he meeting the saying to a prominent writer based upon the testimony of the writer: 10

In the society world, both the Duchess that Windsor and Mrs. Wilhelm Paley are attributed with the monitoring that “no woman deserve to be too rich or also thin.” yet Truman Capote maintains it was he who very first said it, on the “David Susskind Show” in 1958. It’s an ext in his character and also I think him.

See more: Victoria Justice Suite Life Of Zack And Cody, Rebecca (The Suite Life)

In September 1980 a newspaper printed some remarks made throughout a television display under the “‘Tonight Show’ quotes”: 11

Joan Rivers: “You have the right to never be too rich — or also thin.”

In conclusion, based upon the 1963 quote in “Harper’s Bazaar” QI believes this adage have to be labeling anonymous. There is proof Mrs. J. Gordon Douglas Sr. Offered the saying by April 1967, however QI believes that was currently in circulation.

(Great many thanks to previous researcher on this topic consisting of Ralph Keyes, Fred R. Shapiro, and also Barry Popik. Their initiatives inspired QI to formulate this question and perform this exploration.)