Hand color tinted photo of Carol Yorke from the 1948 moive, Letter from an Unknown Woman
Carol Yorke was born Carol Bjorkman. She was born in Swissdale, a suburb of Pittsburgh.
She traveled to Los Angeles when she was 18 and landed a bit part in a Letter from an Unknown Woman, which initially flopped. She then headed east and in New York she got a job in publicity for the fashion house, Arkay. Then she moved to Saks Fifth Avenue as a buyer for a new salon called the Evening Room specializing in evening wear. When Yves Saint Laurent showed his Trapeze collection in 1958, Carol contacted the young designer and secured a position in Paris where she was the personal buyer for rich women who wanted the latest fashions.
In October 1962 she was in Monte Carlo and wrote a letter to John Fairchild the editor of the influential fashion magazine, Women’s Wear Daily. Fairchild liked her witty, chatty style and he liked her connections so he offered her a job and Carol Bjorkman became a columnist. “Carol Says” appeared three times a week and was syndicated in 14 newspapers across the States. Carol traveled the world interviewing celebrities – The Duke of Windsor, Robert F Kennedy, Lyndon B Johnson, to name but three who were not in the fashion world – and attending fashion shows. She knew everyone. In New York she had a special friend in the millionaire garment manufacture Seymour Fox and would regularly arrive at the office with her poodle Sheba in one of his collection of stretched limousines.
On 28 November 1966, Truman Capote threw his legendary, masked, Black & White Ball at the New York Plaza Hotel. It was the social event of the year. Amongst the 500 guests was Carol Bjorkman. Joan Fontaine was also there. Six months later Carol took a limousine to the Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases. She had a bar installed in her private room and entertained until the end. Following her death on July 5th, 1967 The New York Times carried an obituary and reported that she was as well known for her wit and chic in person as she was in print.