Winnaretta Singer (January 8, 1865--November 26, 1943) was the 20th child of Isaac Singer, of Singer sowing machine fame.
In 1875, shortly after moving his family to England, Isaac passed away, leaving Winnaretta devastated... and very rich. In 1886, she married Prince Louis de Scey-Montbeliard, but by 1889, the marriage had ended, partly due to the fact that Winnaretta was attracted to women, not men.
Four years later, she remarried, this time to a 59-year-old Prince Edmond de Polignac who was also gay, but, crucially, shared her love of music, art, and all things modern. They developed an affectionate, happy relationship.
Under the cover of marriage, the Princess De Polignac was free to pursue sexual affairs with women, but music remained her greatest passion. She built her reputation as a famous salon hostess and patron, promoting a number of new artists and commissioning works from notable composers, like Claude Debussy and Erik Satie.
In 1901, Edmond fell seriously ill from unknown causes and died suddenly soon after. Winnaretta commissioned a gravestone inscribed with an epitaph by the composer Wagner that read: "Happy in faith, happy in love." She would continue her work as a musical patron, right until her death in 1943.
Her Paris mansion is now the site of the Singer-Polignac Foundation, which continues to patronize the arts and sciences.