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  • 1-Hillary Clinton
  • 2-Barbara Bush
  • 3-Nancy Reagan
  • 4-First Ladies A – F
  • 5-First Ladies G – L
  • 6-First Ladies M – R
  • 7-First Ladies S – Z
  • 8-1-First Ladies General
  • 8-Surrogate First Ladies
  • 9-1-U. S. Presidents 1980 – present
  • 9-2-U. S. Presidents 1920 – 1980
  • 9-3-U.S. Presidents 1860 – 1920
  • 9-4U.S. Presidents 1790 – 1860
  • Author’s Remarks
  • Misc

Eliza Johnson, Martha's mother, was the wife of Andrew Johnson, America's 17th president (1865-1869), who achieved the presidency upon the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Mrs. Johnson was enfeebled by tuberculosis, and as first lady, according to one report, "spent most of he time in her room, where she read, embroidered,...

Nancy Davis Reagan died this morning from congestive heart failure. Her death occurred twelve years subsequent to the death of her husband, and twenty-seven years after the Reagans left the White House. Mrs. Reagan, at 94 years, 8 months, was the second longest-lived of America's First Ladies. Mrs. Bess Truman...

HARRIET LANE AND HER HOME FOR CHILDREN The Benevolence of a Surrogate First Lady Harriet Lane was a Surrogate First Lady for her uncle James Buchanan, the fifteenth United States President (1857-1861). In 1866, Harriet wed the wealthy Baltimore banker, Henry Elliot Johnson; two sons soon enhanced the couple's marriage. The early 1880s...

HARRIET LANE II WHAT'S A SURROGATE FIRST LADY TO DO AFTER THE WHITE HOUSE? The Surrogate Harriet Lane did plenty and accomplished much. Initially she cared and supported her bachelor uncle, ex-president James Buchanan, at his Wheatland estate, nearby Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Buchanan died in 1868; his will generously acknowledged his niece. His...

In her new biography that emphasized the private contours of the Johnson marriage, Betty Boyd Caroli illuminated several of its cryptic and less favorable aspects. The biographer referred to D. Jablow Hershman's 2002 book on LBJ's mental condition, "Using a term popular during Lyndon's lifetime but later replaced by bi-polar, Hershman...

Betty Boyd Caroli, a noted biographer of America's First Ladies, recently authored a book about the wife of America's 34th President, Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ). Lady Bird and Lyndon focused upon the whirlwind courtship and thirty-eight year marriage between the demure Claudia Taylor of East Texas and the out-sized...

It has been eleven months since the publication of my second book, "The Health of the First Ladies. Medical Histories from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama." How has the book sold? Was marketing difficult? Would this author do anything different? What is planned for 2016? Book sales have been mediocre; slightly...

Mary Elizabeth Taylor, affectionately called "Miss Betty," was the youngest daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor. Her father was United States President from March, 1849 until his death from a virulent gastrointestinal illness in July, 1850. Her mother, Margaret Taylor, was a military wife, who dutifully followed Zachary Taylor to his...

The title First Lady has traditionally been applied to the wife of a sitting president of the United States. However, there is neither a constitutional nor a legislative definition of this title. The responsibilities of a First Lady are well understood: to psychologically, emotionally, and even physically support their husband-president; to...

DAUGHTER AND SURROGATE, 'ASSISTANT FIRST LADY,' and SOCIAL RENEGADE [caption id="attachment_638" align="alignleft" width="300"] Eliza Monroe Hay[/caption] Elizabeth Monroe, the wife of two term president James Monroe (1817-1825), is generally considered an ineffective first lady. The brilliant success of Dolley Madison as a White House social paragon would have dimmed the brightness of...

Martin Van Buren was the eighth president of the United States (1837-1841). He had been Andrew Jackson's vice president, and like Jackson, was a widower. Unlike his predecessor, Van Buren's wife perished many years before he entered the White House. This president was the father of four sons, all of whom...

EMILY DONELSON, HIS NIECE, WAS AN ACCOMPLISHED MANAGER OF THE WHITE HOUSE Regular readers of this blog will recognize the narrative below as the fourth entry in a series that features Surrogate First Ladies, those women, non-spouses of an incumbent president, who performed the social, ceremonial, and household managerial functions of...

[caption id="attachment_317" align="alignleft" width="272"] Dolley Madison[/caption] Dolley Madison was a Surrogate First Lady before she entered the White House as First Lady in her own right, as the wife of James Madison, the fourth United States President. During her husband's presidency (1809-1817) Mrs. Madison became the admired prototype for future first ladies....

An Occasional Update (1) When my book The Health of the First Ladies. Medical Histories from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama was published last January by McFarland Publishers, I was elated: "My second book in print! Great!" However, my celebration was transient, and harsh reality descended: "Who is going to buy my book?...

There have been more than a few instances when a substitute carried out the responsibilities of a First Lady when the First Lady could not. These surrogates, always female, usually succeeded in meeting their responsibilities, but faded into obscurity with the passage of time. [caption id="attachment_508" align="alignleft" width="300"] Nellie Taft[/caption] First Ladies...

This blog previously reported on Barbara Leaming's recent biography of Jackie Kennedy, which described at length her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The current post will evaluate this issue in greater detail to answer the following: what is PTSD; what were Mrs. Kennedy's relevant signs and symptoms; did this First...

THE TALE OF A TWICE PUBLISHED, BUT INFREQUENTLY READ, AUTHOR My second book, The Health of the First Ladies. Medical Histories from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama, was published on January 19, 2015 by McFarland Publishers of Jefferson, North Carolina. The book resulted from seven years of effort; no John Grisham,...

A recent biography of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy by Barbara Leaming makes the case that John Kennedy's widow developed post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after her husband's 1963 assassination. Barbara Leaming had previously researched the Kennedys, and had written several books about the family, including the 2011 Mrs. Kennedy. The...

HOW LOUISA CATHERINE AND JOHN QUINCY ADAMS WORKED TOGETHER TO ACHIEVE HIS PRESIDENCY [caption id="attachment_181" align="alignright" width="300"] Louisa Adams[/caption] John Quincy Adams, the most distinguished diplomat of his era, the son of a former president, one of the most, if not the most learned, American statesman, assumed that he would be elected...

The United States is fortunate that it continues to experience the elegance, the class, the wisdom, and the wit of two of its aging former First Ladies. Nancy Reagan, aged 93 years 6 months recently became America's third longest lived First Lady. Her predecessor Betty Ford lived for 93 years...

"The Health of the First Ladies: Medical Histories from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama" will be published in January, 2015. Author: Ludwig M. Deppisch M.D. Foreword: Connie Mariano M.D. Publisher: McFarland & Company, Inc. Available in soft cover and e-book formats from the publisher, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. The first comprehensive study of the...

Barack Obama, complaining of a sore throat for several weeks, was diagnostically evaluated by his family physician and by several medical specialists on Saturday December 6th. The president was examined in the White House by the Obama personal physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson. In addition to his responsibilities to the president,...

George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States has written a biography of his father, George H. W. Bush, the 41st president of this country. 41. A Portrait of My Father was published in November, 2014. The self-effacing senior Bush never wrote his autobiography, leaving two of his...

[caption id="attachment_570" align="alignleft" width="300"] Nancy Reagan[/caption] On a recent trip to San Francisco, I read that 87-year-old Joan Quigley had died. The October 24, 2014 front page obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle appeared under the headline Socialite, astrologer advised Reagans. The information below is extracted from this article. Ms. Quigley was...

MEDICAL HISTORIES FROM MARTHA WASHINGTON TO MICHELLE OBAMA The arduous road to the publication of my second book of American history may be nearing an end. Final editorial corrections to the manuscript (above) have been accepted by my publisher, McFarland & Company. When will The Health of the First Ladies be published?...

  [caption id="attachment_181" align="alignleft" width="300"] Louisa Adams[/caption] Cook's recent book, John Quincy and Louisa Adams, the War of 1812 and the Exile that Saved American Independence, credited John Quincy and Louisa Adams, posted to the Russian court in Saint Petersburg as United States minister and his wife, with initiating an alliance with Czar...

[caption id="attachment_181" align="alignleft" width="300"] Louisa Adams[/caption] A recent book, American Phoenix. John Quincy and Louisa Adams, the War of 1812, and the Exile that Saved American Independence, by Jane Hampton Cook, credits the skill and grace of both Adams during their diplomatic posting to Russia (1809-1815) with salvaging American Independence through...

RATING THE FIRST LADIES V Mrs. Betty Ford, the popular wife of President Gerry Ford, consistently has been rated very highly in professional polls. Over the forty years since she entered the White House, the Siena Rankings of First Ladies have listed her as #6, #9, #8, #7, #8 in its...

Nancy Reagan visited President Ronald Reagan's grave on June 14, 2014, the tenth anniversary of her husband's death. She was photographed in a wheel chair as she gazed at the memorial for some time. News about this First Lady is scarce since she makes few public appearances. Her 93rd birthday occurred...

DID HER HUSBAND'S FAILED PRESIDENCY AFFECT HER RANKING. [caption id="attachment_567" align="alignleft" width="300"] Rosalynn Carter[/caption] Eleanor Rosalynn Smith, as Mrs. Rosalynn Carter, inadvertently or not, may have modeled her four year White House tenure after her illustrious predecessor and namesake, Eleanor Roosevelt. Like Mrs. Roosevelt before her, the wife of President Jimmy Carter...

TWO OF HIS CHILDREN AUTHOR AFFECTIONATE BIOGRAPHIES The Patrician President George Herbert Bush was inculcated with the values of honesty, loyalty, friendliness, public service, and especially modesty. His mother forbade self-promotion; George was a very obedient son. As a result of his mother's guidance, this President Bush never wrote his autobiography. However,...

Barbara Bush, the wife of George H. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, served as First Lady from 1989-1993. It is notable that Mrs. Bush was also the spouse of a two-term Vice President, and the mother of the two-term 43rd President of the United States. Barbara Bush's ratings...

Rating the First Ladies II [caption id="attachment_557" align="alignleft" width="180"] Abigail Adams[/caption] Over the previous thirty years, the First Ladies of the United States were ranked at least six times, five times by the Siena College Expert Survey (1982, 1993, 2003, 2008, 2014) and once by historian Robert Watson (2000). On five occasions,...

Jackie, Michelle, Hillary, Lady Bird, and Rosalynn Carter in Top Ten. Rating the First Ladies I For many decades, Presidents of the United States have been evaluated, compared, contrasted, and ranked by experts and professional historians. Top ten and Bottom ten lists of our past leaders have been a source of comment,...

[caption id="attachment_537" align="alignleft" width="300"] Hillary Clinton[/caption] Just when the story of Hillary Clinton's medical history seemingly had run its course, Ed Klein's book Blood Feud arrived on line and in bookstores. The author's narrative deals mainly with the enmity between the Clintons and the Obamas. However, Klein cast doubt upon Mrs. Clinton's...

[caption id="attachment_537" align="alignleft" width="300"] Hillary Clinton[/caption] "Clinton's Hectic Pace Acts as Retort to Health Fears" was the headline by writer Amy Chozick to an article in the May 5, 2014 New York Times. Her report attempted to countermand recent questions about the prospective candidate's health, age, and medical history. Chozick's testimonial to...

[caption id="attachment_537" align="alignleft" width="300"] Hillary Clinton[/caption] The recent furor over Hillary Clinton's medical fitness to be president has its genesis in a medical incident that occurred eighteen months previously, near the end of her tenure as U.S. Secretary of State. The Clintons' well-deserved reputation for dissembling, the delay in announcing the...

[caption id="attachment_537" align="alignleft" width="300"] Hillary Clinton[/caption] Will Hillary Clinton release her medical records when she decides to run for the Presidency in 2016? Most recent Democrat and Republican presidential nominees, with no public history of significant illness, have released summary letters from their physicians of record. During the 2008 campaign, candidate Barak...

[caption id="attachment_537" align="alignleft" width="240"] Hillary Clinton[/caption] If elected as President of the United States in 2016, Hillary Clinton (born 10/26/1947) will, at her Inauguration, become its second oldest President. Ronald Reagan was 69 years, 11 months old at his January, 1981 Inauguration. Age alone requires the release of Mrs. Clinton's medical records...

[caption id="attachment_537" align="alignleft" width="240"] Hillary Clinton[/caption] Former First Lady Hillary Clinton (1993-2001) is widely predicted to be the Democrat nominee for the Presidency of the United States in 2016. In December, 2012 while completing her term as U.S. Secretary of State (2009-2013), Mrs. Clinton suffered a significant head injury. Karl Rove, an...

The Family Misfortunes of the Nation's Inaugural First Lady [caption id="attachment_314" align="alignleft" width="224"] Martha Washington[/caption] Martha Dandridge Custis, an extremely wealthy widow, married George Washington on January 6, 1759. Their near forty-one year marriage, although very affectionate and supportive, was childless. Previously, eighteen-year old Martha Dandridge wed Daniel Parke Custis, a rich Virginia...

Nancy Reagan, Her Mother, Emerges as an Appealing and Sensitive Parent in The Long Goodbye.   [caption id="attachment_525" align="alignleft" width="256"] Patti Davis[/caption] The portrayal of Nancy Reagan in Davis' first three novels and in her autobiography was that of a suspicious, controlling, deceitful, and destructive woman. However her mother emerges quite differently in...

[caption id="attachment_9" align="alignleft" width="210"] Dr. Lud Deppisch[/caption] This update is for those loyal readers of this blog who have been following my journey towards a final destination - the publication of my book on the Health of America's First Ladies. Significant progress has been made, so that the adjective "Aspiring" in the...

Nancy Reagan's Image Suffers in Her Daughter's Fiction. [caption id="attachment_525" align="alignleft" width="256"] Patti Davis[/caption] Eleanor Wilson McAdoo, Margaret Truman, and Julie Nixon Eisenhower wrote laudatory biographies that celebrated the lives of their mothers, First Ladies Eleanor Wilson, Bess Truman, and Pat Nixon. Patti Davis, the daughter of Nancy and Ronald Reagan, did...

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