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It appears the memoirs of the First Lady began with Lady Bird Johnson. Since then, every first lady, with the exception of Pat Nixon, has written her memoirs. Some of them, as you will see, have also written other books as well as their memoirs. There were, of course, few before Mrs. Johnson that wrote their memoirs.
Julia Boggs Dent Grant
Mrs. Grant was born in 1826 in Missouri. She was the wife to our 18th president, Ulysses S. Grant, and served as First Lady from 1869 to 1877. Mrs. Grant passed away in 1902 and is buried at General Grant’s National Monument, referred to as Grant’s Tomb in New York City. She wrote:
The Personal Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant: (Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant) by Julia Dent Grant (Finally Published in 1975)
Helen Louise Herron "Nellie" Taft
Mrs. Taft was born in 1861 in Ohio. She was the wife to our 27th president, William Howard Taft, and served as First Lady from 1909 to 1913. Mrs. Taft passed away in 1861 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. She wrote:
Recollections of Full Years by Helen Herron Taft (1914)
Edith Bolling Galt Wilson
Mrs. Wilson was born in 1872 in Virginia. She was the wife to our 28th president, Woodrow Wilson, and served as First Lady from 1915 to 1921. Mrs. Wilson passed away in 1961 and is buried Washington National Cathedral. She wrote:
My Memoir by Edith Bolling Wilson (1939)
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt
Mrs. Roosevelt was born in 1884 in Manhattan, NY. She was the wife to our 32nd president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and served as First Lady from 1946 to 1952. Mrs. Roosevelt passed away in 1962 and is buried at their home in Hyde Park, New York. She wrote:
This is My Story by Eleanor Roosevelt (1937)
This I Remember by Eleanor Roosevelt (1949)
On My Own by Eleanor Roosevelt (1958)
The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt by Eleanor Roosevelt (1961)
Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Johnson
Mrs. Johnson was born in 1912 in Texas. She was the wife to our 37nd president, Lyndon B. Johnson, and served as First Lady from 1961 to 1963. Mrs. Johnson passed away in 2007 and is buried at the Johnson Family Cemetery in Texas. She wrote:
A White House Diary by Lady Bird Johnson (1970)
Elizabeth "Betty" Anne Bloomer Ford
Mrs. Ford was born in 1918 in Illinois. She was the wife to our 38th president, Gerald Ford, and served as First Lady from 1974 to 1977. Mrs. Ford passed away in 2011 and is buried at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. She wrote:
The Times of My Life by Betty Ford (1978)
Betty: A Glad Awakening by Betty Ford (1987)
Healing and Hope by Betty Ford (2003)
Eleanor Rosalynn Smith Carter
Mrs. Carter was born in 1927 in Georgia. She was the wife to our 39th president, Jimmy Carter, and served as First Lady from 1977 to 1981. She wrote:
First Lady from Plains by Rosalynn Carter (1984)
Everything to Gain: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life by Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter (1987)
Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis by Rosalynn Carter (2010)
Helping Yourself Help Others: A Book for Caregivers by Rosalynn Carter (2013)
Nancy Davis Reagan
Mrs. Reagan was born in 1921 as Anne Frances Robbins in New York. She was the wife to our 40th president, Ronald Reagan, and served as First Lady from 1981 to 1989. Mrs. Reagan passed away in 2016 and is buried at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. She wrote:
To Love A Child by Nancy Reagan (1982)
My Turn: The Memoirs of Nancy Reagan by Nancy Reagan (1989)
I Love You Ronnie: The Letters of Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan by Nancy Reagan (2001)
Barbara Pierce Bush
Mrs. Bush was born in 1925 in New York. She was the wife to our 41st president, George H. W. Bush, and served as First Lady from 1989 to 1993. Mrs. Bush passed away in 2018 and is buried at the George Bush Presidential Library. She wrote:
Barbara Bush: A Memoir by Barbara Bush (1994)
Reflections: Life After the White House by Barbara Bush (2004)
Your Own True Colors: Timeless Wisdom from America's Grandmother by Barbara Bush (2018)
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton
Mrs. Clinton was born in 1947 in Chicago, Illinois. She was the wife to our 42nd president, Bill Clinton, and served as First Lady from 1993 to 2001. She wrote:
The Unique Voice: A Portrait In Her Own Words by Hillary Clinton (1997)
Living History by Hillary Clinton (2003)
It Takes A Village by Hillary Clinton (2006)
Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton (2014)
Stronger Together by Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine (2016)
It Takes A Village: Picture Book by Hillary Clinton (2017)
What Happened by Hillary Clinton (2017)
Laura Lane Welch Bush
Mrs. Bush was born in 1946 in Texas. She was the wife to our 43rd president, George W. Bush, and served as First Lady from 2001 to 2009. She wrote:
Spoken from the Heart by Laura Bush (2010)
Read All About It! by Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager
Our Great Big Backyard by Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hagar (2016)
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama
Mrs. Obama was born in 1964 in Chicago, Illinois. She was the wife to our 44th president, Barack Obama, and served as First Lady from 2009 to 2017. She wrote:
American Grown by Michelle Obama (2012)
Becoming by Michelle Obama (2018)
Five of our First Ladies are still living today:
- Melania Trump (As far as I can tell, Mrs. Trump is yet to author any books.)
- Michelle Obama (Amazon author's page)
- Hillary Clinton (Amazon author's page)
- Laura Bush (Amazon author's page)
- Rosalynn Carter (Amazon author's page)
I hope you have enjoyed this list. It's a wonderful collection to aspire to have in one’s own personal library. I am currently working on a new book titled Monumental Ladies—to be released in February of 2019, just in time for Women’s History Month, which is March. To see the criteria I decided on for each woman to be included in the book, check out my website Monumental Ladies.
Paula C. Henderson
Paula makes her home in Las Vegas, Nevada. Check out her Amazon author’s page.
You can also find her on Facebook.