Patrizia Cobb Chapman was born October 19, 1927 in Florence, Italy, to opera singer Frank Chapman, whose father was the ornithologist and pioneering writer of field guides Frank Michler Chapman, and playwright Elizabeth Cobb, whose father was the author and humorist Irvin S. Cobb.

With then-husband Mike Wallace, she host of one of television's first talk shows.

Buff Cobb's Family Tree