Mercedes de Acosta was born 1 March 1893 in New York, New York, the youngest of eight children. She claimed to be of Spanish descent, but it is generally accepted now that her family came from Cuba. Raised as a Roman Catholic she later became a follower of Krishnamurti, and a strict vegetarian. By all accounts, she did not have an easy life. As a child, she suffered from depression, and as an adult was troubled by chronic insomnia and migraines.
De Acosta was a notable playwright, novelist, and poet. She was influential in literary and theatrical circles in the U.S. and in Europe. She was married to painter Abram Poole from 1920-1935, but also had relationships with Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, and Isadora Duncan. De Acosta's works include Wind Chaff (1918), Moods (poems, 1919), Sandro Botticelli (prod. 1923), Until the Day Breaks (1928), and her Lies the Heart (autobiography, 1960). She passed away on 9 May 1968 in New York.
"Mercedes de Acosta." Gay & Lesbian Biography. Ed. Michael J. Tyrkus and Michael Bronski. Detroit: St. James Press, 1997. Biography in Context. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.