Kipton Cronkite is a prominent young socialite who, after a few years' worth of attending swishy parties, used his social connections to launch a flashy for-profit foundation that benefits emerging artists. He is supposedly related in some way or another to the late, great Walter Cronkite, but just how closely is a matter of debate — in early 2009, "Page Six" published an accusatory item in which the newsman's girlfriend and son claimed there was no "genealogical relationship" between the pair. A couple of months later, "Page Six" practically crowed that because of their attack piece, Cronkite had fallen on hard times. He lost his job at Bank of America in the economic downturn, was rejected by his high-society friends, and was forced to "move out of his doorman elevator building in the East 50s to a Lower East Side walk-up." This probably doesn't sound so bad to most of us, but to a society type, that's basically the same as contracting cholera. According to a "Page Six" source, he "befriended a 19-year-old man" who "comes from family money" and is "letting Kipton live with him on the Lower East Side rent-free."
Since then, however, the gossip column tells us that Cronkite's fortunes have changed for him yet again. In a truly perplexing item today, we learn that Cronkite has apparently moved out from the 19-year-old's place and in with ... someone 50 years older:
Park Avenue real-estate broker Laurence Kaiser has married art dealer Kipton Cronkite after a whirlwind, seven-month romance. Kaiser, 69, and Cronkite, 39, were wed in Greenwich on Tuesday before a single witness. While Kaiser is close with society figures, including Iris Cantor and Monique van Vooren, few knew they were an item. One told us, "Everybody is blindsided." Cronkite, who runs KiptonART, met Kaiser in April at a Met Museum party and bonded at a dinner for Britain's Prince Edward at Jeffrey Bradfield's East Side townhouse.
Blindsided indeed: It's not clear that before this Cronkite was even openly gay. And we're convinced that he is much younger than 39 — look at that cherubic little face! "We hit it off and became really good friends. We decided to get married last week," Cronkite told the tabloid. "People are surprised, only our close friends knew. You want to keep some things private. Being married to somebody who is 30 years older is great in many ways, because of his knowledge, wisdom, and emotional stability. I think I am more of an old soul." From now on that's how we're going to describe someone who marries a much older, wealthy person that they describe as a "good friend." An "old soul." For example: "Anna Nicole Smith was an old soul." Hey! It works!
Kaiser, meanwhile, is a massively successful real-estate broker. In a 2008 Observer piece it was claimed that he was the first broker in the city to sell an apartment for over a million dollars — in 1978. Because of his society connections, he often sells and resells the same apartment to an upper-class clique of New Yorkers and international financiers. He's even sold one apartment in 834 Fifth Avenue four times — first, decades ago, for $225,000. When he sold it the last time in 2007, it went for $33,444,500.
Sounds like the kind of guy worth marrying, huh? Even if you have to ditch a 19-year-old stud with family money?
Real estate agent Laurence Kaiser marries Kipton Cronkite [NYP]
Update: Peter Davis identifies the 19-year-old (actual) boy as Zev Eisenberg, who is now 22.