The term trophy wife was coined by Julie Connelly, a senior editor of Fortune magazine, in a cover story in the issue of Aug. 28, 1989 and immediately entered the language. Although it often has a pejorative spin, the term originally meant the second (or third) wife of a corporate titan, who was younger, beautiful and—equally important—accomplished in her own right.
The marriage of former Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith to oil magnate, J. Howard Marshall, was widely followed by the U.S. media, as an extreme example, as at the time of their marriage: he was 89 years old and she was 26.
Some sources claim the term was coined earlier (for example the Online Etymology Dictionary cites 1984 ) but that seems incorrect. The Oxford English Dictionary confirms Aug 28, 1989 as its first use.
Aspects: Members of the Trophy Cabinet; the New Style of Trophy Wife Is Intelligent and Useful like Cherie Blair, Says Ros Dodd
Mar 16, 2000; Trophy wives are, by definition, glamorous. Descriptive words such as willowy, blonde, svelte and chic can usually also be...