René Silvin


Born in New York, René Silvin grew up in Swiss boarding schools. After earning his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in 1970 and an MBA from Cornell in 1972, he spent 25 years in the investor-owned hospital industry. He rose to the head of the international division of American Medical International, Inc., which owned and operated hospitals in 10 countries.

Since retiring after surviving a late stage cancer, René has published five books, including a memoir about his friendship with the late Duchess of Windsor and a history of Palm Beach, Florida seen through the eyes of the famous society architect, Addison Mizner. His latest book, “SS Normandie: The Tragic Story of the Most Majestic Ocean Liner,” is a historical novel that brings to life the magnificent 1930s French line, Normandie, which met its tragic end during WWII.

He continues to add lecture topics which offer well-researched, glamorous stories with historical significance, infused with personal experiences. These include a history of transatlantic ocean liner travel, the history of Mar-a-Lago, and his newest one about the perils of being too rich.

René lives in Palm Beach, FL and is listed in Who’s Who in the World (1988). He is the vice-chairman of the Palm Beach Landmarks Preservation Commission.

A much sought-after lecturer on the Duchess of Windsor, Addison Mizner, the SS Normandie and Mar-a-Lago, René has become one of America’s leading authorities on all four topics.

20th Century Icons: Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf

The women and the legends

Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf. One born in Germany, the other in France. Both became world famous and both mesmerized audiences in the United States. Both were rumored to have multiple lovers…even each other. Both did their part during World War Two to fight against the Nazi-regime. Both had extremely recognizable voices. Dietrich with songs like “Lili Marleen” and “Where have all the flowers gone”, while Piaf’s “Non, je ne regrette rein” and “La vie en rose” are known the world over. At one point in time, both were the highest paid female entertainers in their particular art: Dietrich as Hollywood actress, Piaf as singer of the French chanson. The difference between these iconic women is that Marlene carefully crafted her acting career and mid-life morphed into a singing career to keep her icon status alive. She lived to the ripe age of 90. Piaf on the other hand burned the candle at both ends, was known to use drugs, drink in excess, had several car accidents leading to physical ailments, and, as it has been said, “sang herself to death at age 47.” In his inimitable story-telling fashion, René will present a picture of Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf as uber-talented, multi-lingual, truly international icons, who capitalized on their talents. He will also include his personal interactions with Dietrich!

This is an in-person only lecture.
Register Early! There is a $5 charge for registering on the day of a one-time lecture or event.

Course # F1T4L — One Time Event
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Tuesday, December 7 2021
Time:12 - 1:30 PM
Fee:$25 / member; $30 / non-member

Register Now
 Last Modified 2/12/15