Was Nancy Pelosi Miss Lube Rack of 1955?

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Miss Lube Rack 1955

Viral image via Facebook / Original photo by Allan Grant, Life Magazine

Description: Viral image
Circulating since: April 2013 (under this pretense)
Status: False (details below)

Text Example

As shared on Facebook, May 2, 2013:

Before They Were Famous - Nancy D'Alesandro (Pelosi) -
MISS LUBE RACK 1955 -

Now that has to be embarrassing! This would be like her being Miss QUICKIE LUBE now!

Oh... this is disturbing on so many levels, she wasn't even attractive "in the day."

Analysis

Nice try. I don't know who the swimsuit model in the above photo really is, but I can name at least one person it definitely isn't: Nancy D'Alesandro Pelosi, the current (as of this writing) the minority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives.

How do I know? It only took a few minutes of online research to discover that the image originated as part of a photo spread for LIFE magazine shot by Hollywood photographer Allan Grant in 1951, not 1955.

Born on March 26, 1940, Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro was 11 years old in 1951.

(Note: Another version of the caption reads "Miss Lube Rack 1959." It's still false. Even though Pelosi would have been 19 years old in 1959, as stated above it has been documented that the photo was taken eight years before that, in 1951.)

In any case, unlike former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who was a beauty pageant contestant before she got into politics, there's nothing in Pelosi's resume or biographical materials to indicate she has ever served as a model of any kind, much less a swimsuit model. To all appearances, her entire life has been devoted to family and politics, presumably with little time or energy left for anything else.

The daughter of New Deal Democratic politician Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr., Pelosi graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science from Trinity College in Washington, DC in 1962. She married businessman Paul Pelosi shortly thereafter and the couple moved to New York, where they had five children, and eventually moved to the West Coast, where they settled in San Francisco. It was there that Pelosi began her political career as a volunteer Democratic organizer.

Pelosi won her first election to the House of Representatives in a 1987 special election after the incumbent had died, and retained the seat in the regular election the following year. In 2002 she was elected minority whip by her peers, then, in 2006, after Democrats became the majority party, was elected Speaker of the House. She held that position until 2010, when Republicans retook the House majority and Pelosi returned to the role of minority leader, in which she remains today.

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Sources and Further Reading

Profile: Rep. Nancy Pelosi
LIFE Photo Archive