Kate Smith Leaves More Than $500,000 to Charity, Friends, Relatives
Jul. 15, 1986
NEW YORK (AP) _ Singer Kate Smith left the bulk of her $500,000 estate to two charities and the rest to friends and relatives, according to her will filed for probate.
Miss Smith, a symbol of American patriotism because of her renditions of ''God Bless America,'' died at age 79 of diabetes complications June 17 at her home in Raleigh, N.C.
Her eight-page will, signed July 12, 1973, was filed Monday in New York County Surrogate Court because most of her assets were held here, according to Sanford Becker, Miss Smith's friend, accountant and estate executor.
Miss Smith left $25,000 to ''my dear friend'' Cardinal Terence Cooke, the archbishop of New York who died of leukemia on Oct. 6, 1983. She was a convert to Roman Catholicism in 1965.
Because of his death, the bequest reverts to the estate and will be shared by the two charities, which get everything not designated for others. The charities, both in Lake Placid, are St. Agnes' Roman Catholic Church and Uihlein Mercy Center, a hospital. They will receive a total of $365,000.
To her relatives, Miss Smith left comparatively small amounts. She explained: ''I have not married during my lifetime. My sister and nieces, who are my sole blood relatives, have received gifts from me during my lifetime. I have taken this into consideration in making the bequests.''
Her sister, Helene M. Steene of Raleigh, was left $40,000, and her two nieces, a grandniece and grandnephew will receive $15,000 each.
Miss Smith's trophies, plaques, awards, photographs, films, recordings, clippings and scripts and other of memorabilia are to go to Boston University, for use as the school sees fit.
Miss Smith left $10,000 to the Rev. Albert Salmon, the Ticonderoga, N.Y., priest who baptized her into the Catholic Church.
''She was an outstanding woman,'' the priest said, ''loyal to her friends, loyal to her country and loyal to God.''