The former wife of billionaire oil tycoon Sid Richardson Bass, Mercedes Bass is one of the city's most prominent socialites and philanthropists.

Born in Iran, educated in England and Switzerland, and distantly related to the Persian royal family, Mercedes Tavacoli was once married to Ambassador Francis L. Kellogg, who served in the Nixon and Ford administrations. In 1986, in a much talked about scandal, Mercedes ditched her bland diplomat husband for Sid Bass, the heir to an Texas oil fortune. The couple tied the knot in a lavish society wedding at the Plaza two years later. With her husband worth more than $3 billion, she spent the last two decades attending glitzy parties and doling out cash to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, and The Metropolitan Opera, to name a few. However in 2011 Mercedes and Sid Bass, anchors of the city's business and philanthropic world, announced their divorce, ending 23 years of marriage. [Image via Getty]