First Ladies of the United States

circa 1830: First Lady Dolley Madison (1768 - 1849), nee Payne, the wife of American president James Madison and a renowned Washington socialite.

First Lady

PresidentInteresting Fact
Martha Dandridge Custis WashingtonGeorge WashingtonBurned all correspondence between herself and her husband before her death
Abigail Smith AdamsJohn AdamsHighly respected and intelligent as seen by correspondence between herself and both her husband and Thomas Jefferson
None. Wife Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson died before he took office.Thomas JeffersonMartha was extremely wealthy and Jefferson was heartbroken when she died.
Dolley Payne Todd MadisonJames MadisonWell-loved first lady credited with saving many national treasures when Washington was under attack during the War of 1812
Elizabeth Kortright MonroeJames MonroeOften ill and disliked as first lady, especially after the popular Dolley Madison
Louisa Catherine Johnson AdamsJohn Quincy AdamsOnly foreign-born first lady
Rachel Robards JacksonAndrew JacksonHad been married before and marriage was not legally ended when she married Jackson causing much scandal
Hannah Hoes Van BurenMartin Van BurenNot much is known but she was deeply religious
Anna Tuthill Symmes HarrisonWilliam Henry HarrisonNever actually occupied the White House because her husband died before she arrived
(1)Letitia Christian Tyler (2)Julia Gardiner TylerJohn TylerLetitia died while Tyler was in office; Julia became the first woman to be married to a sitting president
Sarah Childress PolkJames Knox PolkWell respected first lady who was noted for her sobriety and tactful conversation
Margaret Mackall Smith TaylorZachary TaylorDid not enjoy being first lady and would not attend any formal social occasions
Abigail Powers FillmoreMillard FillmoreHad a deep love of learning and was a major part in the creation of the White House library
Jane Means Appleton PierceFranklin PierceWas very religious and spent most of her time in the White House in grief over her youngest son's death
NoneJames BuchananBuchanan's ward, Harriet Lane, served as first lady
Mary Ann Todd LincolnAbraham LincolnWas unpopular as first lady and had a mental illness diagnosed as "cerebral disease" after her death
Eliza McCardle JohnsonAndrew JohnsonWas an invalid throughout Johnson's presidency
Julia Boggs Dent GrantUlysses S GrantGracious first lady who helped refurbish the White House
Lucy Ware Webb HayesRutherford B. HayesStaunch opponent of slavery who was nicknamed "Lemonde Lucy" for banning alcohol at the White House
Lucretia Rudolph GarfieldJames GarfieldWas reluctant to be first lady and was known for talking with her husband and the press about political issues
None. Wife Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur died before he took office.Chester A ArthurArthur's sister acted as the unofficial first lady
Frances Folsom ClevelandGrover ClevelandCleveland married Frances while president and she became an instant celebrity and trendsetter
Caroline Lavinia HarrisonBenjamin HarrisonWas active as first lady performing major renovations and acting as a huge advocate for women's rights
Ida Saxton McKinleyWilliam McKinleyWas an epileptic and suffered through many illnesses during her time as first lady
Edith Kermit Carow RooseveltTheodore RooseveltRoosevelt's second wife, Edith was an active first lady who remodeled the White House
Helen "Nellie" Herron TaftWilliam Howard TaftHad a stroke while first lady yet continued to serve at functions throughout Taft's term in office
(1)Ellen Louise Axton Wilson (2)Edith Bolling Galt WilsonWoodrow WilsonTook control of the presidency after husband had a stroke in office
Florence Mabel Kling DeWolfe HardingWarren G. HardingWas a good businesswoman who helped Harding become president
Grace Anna Goodhue CoolidgeCalvin CoolidgeVery popular first lady who gracefully dealt with the death of her son Calvin Jr. while Coolidge was in office
Lou Henry HooverHerbert Clark HooverVery involved in the Girl Scouts and spent time as first lady restoring White House rooms
Anna Eleanor RooseveltFranklin D. RooseveltUsed her position as first lady to advance important causes such as civil rights and women's rights
Elizabeth "Bess" Virginia Wallace TrumanHarry S TrumanSpent as little time as possible in Washington, not relishing her role as first lady
Mamie Geneva Doud EisenhowerDwight D. EisenhowerVery popular first lady who held many state dinners for heads of state
Jacqueline "Jackie" Lee Bouvier KennedyJohn F. KennedyKnown for her fashion sense and poise, she spent much of her time as first lady restoring the White House
Claudia Alta Taylor "Lady Bird" JohnsonLyndon B. JohnsonHer pet project while first lady was helping improve the way America looked through her beautification program
Thelma Catherine Patricia "Pat" Ryan NixonRichard M. NixonEspoused volunteerism as her pet project along with continuing the restoration of the White House
Elizabeth "Betty" Anne Bloomer FordGerald R. FordSpoke openly about personal issues including seeing a psychiatrist and dealing with breast cancer
Eleanor Rosalynn Smith CarterJimmy CarterOne of her husbands closest advisors, sitting in on many cabinet meetings
Nancy Davis ReaganRonald ReaganCaused controversy after purchasing new china for the White House during a nationwide depression
Barbara Pierce BushGeorge H. W. BushWell-loved first lady who advocated for many causes including AIDS awareness, homelessness, and literacy
Hillary Rodham ClintonBill ClintonPowerful first lady who advocated nationalized health insurance along with rights for women and children around the world
Laura Welch BushGeorge W. BushFormer librarian who has spent her time championing education issues including literacy
Michelle Robinson ObamaBarack ObamaMichelle Obama has worked hard to help working and military families along with focusing on childhood nutrition.

Top 10 First Ladies

Fast Facts for Each President