Daddy Browning and his Peaches

Meet Edward West “Daddy” Browning and his 15-year-old bride, Peaches. Daddy Browning was an Upper West Side real estate developer who lived on West 72nd Street and had a penchant for publicity. In the 1920s, he ran an ad in the New York Herald Tribune seeking to adopt a 14-year-old girl, supposedly as a playmate for his daughter.

Thousands of gold-digging applicants flooded his office, and in 1926 he met and married Frances Belle Heenan, a wannabe actress from Washington Heights he nicknamed Peaches. The two delighted in their Jazz Age excess and tabloid celebrity status.

Of course, it didn’t end well. After 10 months of flaunting their bizarre relationship, they landed in divorce court, the press dutifully reporting all courtroom details. Daddy Browning died in the 1930s, and Peaches lived into the 1940s.

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10 Responses to “Daddy Browning and his Peaches”

  1. Benjamin Feldman Says:

    I’m an historian working and living in NYC for many years and have just published my second book, a 20,000 word, heavily illustrated non-fiction account of Daddy Browning’s life entitled “Call Me Daddy – The Life and Loves of Edward West Browning, New York’s Jazz-Age Lecher King.” It’s available FREE in its entirety at

    I’d appreciate your passing this information along to anyone interested in this fascinating crazy tale, much larger that just the Peaches Browning chapter…


    Ben Feldman
    New York Wanderer Press

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Sure thing–it’s a great story.

  3. Benjamin Feldman Says:

    Free access to the text of this book is no longer available. Check its website for purchase information for the beautifully illustrated paperbound book, available from the publishers and from Amazon and select Barnes and Noble retail stores in Manhattan.

  4. Autumn Says:

    why does peaches have a bandaged arm and face?

  5. rachele Says:

    Autumn, I believe the reason for the bandaging is because before her marriage to “Daddy,”somebody, believed to be a jealous suitor, broke in and threw a mixture of chloroform, I think it was, and acid on her face and neck whilst she slept.

  6. English Dave Says:

    So, unless I am mistaken, Peaches was only 46 when she died. What caused her death?

  7. Benjamin Feldman Says:

    The details of Peache’ sorry demise are all in my book “Call Me Daddy” which you can purchase for $20 including postage directly from me: email me at

  8. Gabriel Kramarenko Says:

    Reading Call Me Daddy really hit home. One of its characters, that dentist, Dr Charles Wilen, who eloped with Browning’s wife to France ended up staying there for the rest of his life (except for a short return to the States to escape the persecution of Jews by the Nazi in 1940). In the 1930’s Charley was in partnership with Alec Kramarenko, the inventor of the first underwater spear gun and the “Monogoggle”, the first single lens diving goggles. It so happens that he seduced his partner’s wife, making me his biological son.

    If I live long enough to finish and publish it, my book “Memoires of a French Bastard” might show that sex addiction and womanizing is truly hereditary. I guess I couldn’t help it.

  9. Gabriel Kramarenko Says:

    Dear Mr. Feldman.
    Please forgive the long time it has taken me to answer to your request to contact you, I’ve been busier than a one armed paper hanger. I have enough info on the life of Charles Wilen after his escapade with young Mrs West. His life was even more interesting then. His son, my half brother, was very famous and continued the saga. My nephew, Charley’s grandson, has papers on the family that just by themselves are worthy of a best seller.

    You can contact me at or y phone at (870)834-4382

    Looking forward to talk to you

    Gabriel Kramarenko

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