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Lydia Ratcliff ’55

Lydia, who chose to leave behind a lucrative career as a ghostwriter to become a trailblazer in sustainable farming, died Feb. 13, 2018.

Fluent in several languages, Lydia was educated at the Putney School, Swarthmore, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Sorbonne. After graduation, she rose through the publishing ranks to become the assistant—and ghostwriter—to Sylvia Porter, known as America’s original personal finance columnist. Although a dispute over royalties and credit ended their working relationship, Lydia wrote a brilliant new chapter in her life when she created and ran a working farm that pioneered farm-to-table humane ethos and became a top provider to some of New York’s best restaurants.

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