Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Last November, I posted a short biography on Gladys Y. Leslie .  Thanks to the courtesy of the Lilly Library at the University of Indiana, I can now add some additional information on her 1915 marriage to Noel Leslie, a British actor. 

Her husband’s given name was actually Noel Leslie Brown, but he used the shorter version as his stage name.  In my earlier post I mentioned her marriage but speculated that it had not lasted.

Under US law in 1915, Gladys Young lost her US citizenship since her husband was a British national.  Apparently this law only applied to American women; American men who married a foreign national kept their US citizenship.  (See the Wikipedia article on the Married Women's Independent Nationality Act for more information.)

The Lilly Library holds the papers of John J. O’Connor (a New York City Congressman) and provided copies from his file on Gladys Young Leslie’s effort to regain her US citizenship. The papers confirm that Gladys Young Leslie divorced her husband in 1924.  Six years later she sought O’Connor’s assistance to have her US citizenship restored.  Finally, in 1930 Gladys Young Leslie once again became a citizen of the United States of America.    

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