Leaders' wives: First Ladies by numbers

 

 

Number of First Ladies: 46 (official total, counting Frances Cleveland twice)

Number of living First Ladies: 7 (Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama)

First use of the term "First Lady": 1849 (by Zachary Taylor, at Dolley Madison's funeral)

First Ladies officially counted as First Ladies although they died before their husbands were sworn in: 4 (Martha Skelton Jefferson, Rachel Robards Jackson, Hannah Van Buren, Ellen Arthur)

Official First Ladies who weren't married to the President: 1 (Harriet Lane, niece of the unmarried James Buchanan)

Unofficial First Ladies – nieces, daughters, daughters-in-law, etc – who carried out social duties on account of the death, illness or disposition of the President's wife: 10 (Martha Randolph, Emily Donelson, Sarah Jackson, Angelica Van Buren, Jane Harrison, Priscilla Tyler, Mary McElroy, Rose Cleveland, Mary McKee, Margaret Wilson)

First Ladies who died while First Lady: 3 (Letitia Tyler, Caroline Harrison and Ellen Wilson)

First Ladies who married in the White House: 1 (Frances Folsom Cleveland)

Longest-lived First Lady: Bess Truman (died aged 97 years, 247 days)

Highest-profile pre-Civil War First Lady: Dolley Payne Todd Madison, who entertained lavishly, instituted the inauguration ball, refurbished the White House, rescued many valuables when the British sacked Washington in 1814 but also served occasionally as First Lady for the widowed Thomas Jefferson, when his daughter was unavailable.

Highest-profile post-Civil War First Lady: Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy, who created such a sensation when she travelled with her husband to Europe that he was reduced to saying: "I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris."

Most sober First Lady: Lucy Ware Webb Hayes, who banned alcohol from the White House, earning herself the nickname Lemonade Lucy.

Least sober First Lady: Betty Bloomer Warren Ford, who went on to found the famous Betty Ford Center for rehabilitation in California.

Most powerful First Lady: Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, who screened all her husband's work while he was convalescing from a stroke and decided which matters were important enough to bring to his attention.

Cleverest First Lady: Lou Henry Hoover, a geologist, Egyptologist and classicist who conversed with her husband in Chinese. (Runner-up: Hillary Clinton.)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
News
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Regulatory / Compliance / Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'