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The Daily Dish Southern Charm

Who Is Patricia Altschul's Former Husband and Whitney Sudler-Smith's Dad, Lon Smith?

In the past on Southern Charm, Whitney and Patricia paid tribute to Lon Smith.

By Jocelyn Vena

While fans knows Patricia Altschul quite well, Whitney Sudler-Smith isn't just close to his mom, but was also very close to his dad, Lon Smith, prior to his passing.

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Whitney opened up about the passing of his father, Lon Smith, in an emotional moment in a Season 8 episode of Southern Charm. In a conversation with Patricia, he reflected on the loss as he drove her around town in the moment featured in the Season 8 episode.

“It’s been a sh--ty year. Michael [Kelcourse is] not here since the stroke. And then my father… unexpectedly losing Dad was a real horror show,” Whitney said in the episode.

Patricia also shared her memories of her ex-husband, calling him, “Such a nice, kind, brilliant man. It’s terrible.” As they spoke, it was confirmed that Lon passed away after a short battle with leukemia. “It was a terrible summer.”

Over the years before, Whitney and Patricia shared insights into what Lon was like. Read on for more info on Whitney's dad.

Who is Whitney Sudler-Smith's father, Lon Smith?

During an interview in the Season 8 episode, Patricia opened up more about her relationship with Lon. “Whitney’s father and I, we were married for 15 years. We got divorced because he needed a corporate wife doing parties for clients, and I was selling paintings to museums and traveling. But we were always friendly. I adored him. He was a great father to Whitney,” she said. “He was a fabulous man. He was so attractive in every way.”

Patricia also reflected on the loss while remembering her own father in an Instagram post she shared timed to Father’s Day. “Happy Father’s Day… this is a photo of my father when he graduated from Tulane Medical School in 1909. He was a surgeon and diplomat who became the Medical Inspector to the Far East under Roosevelt. He was the best father a girl could have and I miss him [every day] as I know Whitney does with his father as well,” she shared at the time.

Before Lon passed away, Whitney occasionally shared photos of his dad, sharing some insight into their relationship, which included hanging at sports games.

In an interview with The Daily Dish several years before his father's passing, Whitney opened up about how his dad had "a great sense of humor" and that, in that way, he does take after his father. "I was kind of weaned on Monty Python and more kind of surreal humor, I guess, and very kind of British humor," he shared about his youth at the time. "And then I'd always memorize these comedy albums from the '70s, like Richard Pryor and Steve Martin, and then later, Eddie Murphy. They're all huge influences on the way I think."


Whitney Sudler Smith and Patricia Altschul on a facetime conversation with Michael Kelcourse.

Patricia Altschul reflects on marriage to Whitney Sudler-Smith's father, Lon Smith

Previously, Patricia opened up about her marriage to Lon in her 2017 memoir, The Art of Southern Charm. Patricia and Lon were introduced to each other when she was living in Washington, D.C., while attending George Washington University. At the time, he was the head of Dun & Bradstreet. The couple worked on their careers during their marriage and welcomed Whitney in 1968. They went their separate ways after about 15 years of marriage.

Speaking to The Daily Dish in 2019, Patricia spoke about her life with Lon following their divorce. "We've always been close. We have always talked. There was never an acrimonious word between us. We still talk. Every once and while we argue who gets Whitney for Christmas, to this day. But it's always pleasant," she said in the interview done years before he died. "He's a fabulous father, a lovely human being, quite successful, very smart. Whitney's very close to him."

You can hear more about Patricia and Whitney’s family in the vintage The Daily Dish interview at the top of the post.

Originally published Jul 7, 2022.

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