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Paley first added the meaningless "S" to his name at age twelve. For years, Paley secretly supported actress Louise Brooks after their liaison in the 1930s. Paley began collecting art in the 1930s. Paley was a member of the following clubs: River, Century Association, The Metropolitan (Washington), Turf and Field, National Golf Club, Meadowbrook, Economic (New York), Lyford Cay (Nassau), Bucks (London).
Trustee of the Museum of Modern Art (1937-90); president (1968-72); chairman of the board (1972-85); chairman emeritus (1985-90)
Paley is a life trustee for Columbia University (1950-73); trustee emeritus (1973-90)
He is on the board of directors for the W. Averell Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of the Soviet Union at Columbia University.
Paley is a member of the commission for the White House Conference on Education (1954-56)
He is chairman for the President's Materials Policy Commission which produced the report "Resources For Freedom" (1951-52); member of the executive commission, Resources for the Future (1952-69); chairman (1966-69); honorary board of directors (1969-90)
He was honored with the Concert Artist Guild Award (1965)
Paley was chairman of the NYC Task Force on Urban Design which prepared the report, "The Threatened City" (1967); served on the Urban Design Council city in New York (1968-71)
Served as president and director of the William S. Paley Foundation; also the Greenpart Foundation, Inc.
Trustee of the North Shore University Hospital (1949-73); co-chairman board of trustees (1954-73)
Paley is the founder and chairman of the board for the Museum of Broadcasting (1976-90)
He is also a member of the commission on Critical Choices of America (1973-77)
He is the commissioner for Cultural Affairs, NYC (1975-78)
Paley is a life trustee of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of NY.
He served for the military service in the US Army during WWII: Legion of Merit, Medal for Merit, officer Legion of Honor France, Croix de Guerre with Palm France, commander Order of Merit Italy, associate commander Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
Paley is a recipient of the Gold Achievement Medal, Poor Richard Club.
He is a recipient of the Skowhegan Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Award.
Paley was a recipient of the Gold Medal Award from the National Planning Association (1979)
He was a recipient of the David Sarnoff Award from the University of Arizona (1979)
Recipient of the Gold Medallion from the Society of Family of Man (1982)
Paley was also a recipient of the Joseph Wharton Award from the Wharton School Club of New York (1983)
He was a recipient of the Medallion of Honor from the City of New York.
He was also a recipient of the First Amendment Freedoms Awards from the Anti-Defamation League B'Nai B'rith.
Inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame (1984)
He was named to the Junior Achievement National Business Hall of Fame (1984)
Paley was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations from the France America Society.
He was also a member of the Academy of Political Science.
Paley was a member of the National Institute of Social Science.
He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Paley has also received honorary degrees from Bates College (1963), University of Pennsylvania (1968), Columbia University (1975), Brown University (1975), Pratt Institute (1977), Dartmouth College (1979), Ithaca College (LHD in 1978), USC (1985), Rutgers University (1986), Southampton Long Island University (1987)
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