Cleveland Amory, the Massachusetts Brahmin with the rapier wit who penned several bestsellers and became one of the world's leading advocates for animals, died in his sleep Wednesday night at his New York City home. He was 81.
As a humanitarian, Amory founded the Fund for Animals in 1967 and was known to many for his work saving the burros of the Grand Canyon and the goats of California's San Clemente Island. But to millions of readers, he was the humorist and social critic who spun touching stories about his beloved white cat Polar Bear into three best-selling books.
Born in 1917, Amory was the scion of a long line of Boston merchants. His affluent and well-connected upbringing left him with a self-assured demeanor and independent spirit. Amory displayed a lifelong love for chess, which he saw as a traditional social event more than a competition.