Second Lady of the United States

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Second Lady of the
United States
Karen Pence official portrait.jpg
Incumbent
Karen Pence

since January 20, 2017
Style Mrs. Pence (informal)
Madam Second Lady (informal)
Residence Number One Observatory Circle
Inaugural holder Abigail Adams
Formation April 21, 1789
(228 years ago)
 (1789-04-21)
Website WhiteHouse.gov

The wife of the Vice President of the United States is sometimes referred to as Second Lady of the United States (SLOTUS), but this title is much less common.

The term "Second Lady", coined in contrast to the First Lady (who is almost always the wife of the President), may have been first used by Jennie Tuttle Hobart (whose husband was Vice President from 1897 to 1899) to refer to herself.

The title later fell out of favor, but was revived in the 1980s.[1][2] During the 1990s the title was again abandoned, in favor of "wife of the Vice-President", but was later resurrected during the administration of Barack Obama[2] and continues to be used by the administration of Donald Trump,[3] though Trump himself had never heard of the term until five months into his presidency.[4]

History

The second lady's visibility in the public sphere has been a somewhat recent development. Although the role of the First Lady as White House hostess dates from the beginning of the republic (and was typically filled by another member of the president's family if the president was unmarried or a widower), with a few exceptions, it was generally not until the late 20th century and early 21st century that vice-presidential wives took on public roles that attracted significant media attention.

Floride Calhoun, wife of Vice President John C. Calhoun, was a central figure in the Petticoat Affair, a social-political scandal which involved the social ostracism of Secretary of War John H. Eaton and his wife Margaret O'Neill Eaton further damaging already-strained relations between Vice President Calhoun and President Andrew Jackson. Tipper Gore, wife of Vice President Al Gore, was active in several campaigns to remove material she found objectionable from popular American entertainment like movies, television shows and music, starting when her husband was a senator. She challenged performers over their use of profane lyrics and often debated with her critics, such as Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra. Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, championed education reform, citing specific failures of the American public education system during her tenure as second lady. She is a particularly outspoken supporter of American history education, having written five bestselling books on this topic for children and their families.[5] Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, works as an English professor at Northern Virginia Community College, and is thought to be the first second lady to hold a paying job while her husband was vice president.[6] She has been involved in various causes, including breast cancer awareness and literacy.

At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Dr. Jill Biden said, "Let me start by thanking you for allowing me to serve as Second Lady of the United States for the past eight years. It has been an honor." This was the first time the informal title was used by an incumbent at a national convention.[citation needed] The term remains an unfamiliar and uncertain one even when it is used.[7]

There have been 17 periods of vacancy in the role, the longest of which continued for 16 years between the service of vice presidential spouses Abigail Adams and Ann Gerry. The most recent second lady vacancy was for 132 days in 1974, between the service of Betty Ford and Happy Rockefeller.

List of Second Ladies of the United States

No. Image Second Lady Date of birth Vice President
Marriage date
Tenure Date of death (age) Tenure as First Lady
01.0 1 Abigail Adams.jpg Adams, Abigail Abigail Smith (1744-11-11)November 11, 1744 Adams, John John Adams
October 25, 1764
April 21, 1789 – March 4, 1797 (1818-10-28)October 28, 1818(1818-10-28) (aged 73) 1797–1801
01.1 Vacant; Jefferson, Thomas Thomas Jefferson was a widower. March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801  
01.2 Vacant; Aaron Burr was a widower. March 4, 1801 – March 4, 1805  
01.3 Vacant; George Clinton was a widower. March 4, 1805 – April 20, 1812  
01.4 Vacant; no Vice President. April 20, 1812 – March 4, 1813  
02.0 2 Ann Thompson Gerry.jpg Gerry, Ann Ann Thompson (1763-08-12)August 12, 1763 Gerry, Elbridge Elbridge Gerry
January 12, 1786
March 4, 1813 – November 23, 1814 (1849-03-17)March 17, 1849(1849-03-17) (aged 85)
02.1 Vacant; no Vice President. November 23, 1814 – March 4, 1817  
03.0 3 Hannah Tompkins2.jpg Tompkins, Hannah Hannah Minthorne (1781-08-28)August 28, 1781 Tompkins, Daniel D Daniel D Tompkins
February 20, 1798
March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825 (1829-02-18)February 18, 1829(1829-02-18) (aged 47)
04.0 4 Floride Calhoun nee Colhoun.jpg Calhoun, Floride Floride Bonneau Colhoun (1792-02-15)February 15, 1792 Calhoun, John C. John C. Calhoun
January 8, 1811
March 4, 1825 – December 28, 1832 (1866-07-25)July 25, 1866(1866-07-25) (aged 74)
04.1 Vacant; no Vice President. December 28, 1832 – March 4, 1833  
04.2 Vacant; Buren, Martin Van Martin Van Buren was a widower. March 4, 1833 – March 4, 1837  
04.3 Vacant; Johnson, Richard Mentor Richard Mentor Johnson was unmarried. March 4, 1837 – March 4, 1841  
05.0 5 Letitia Tyler2.jpg Tyler, Letitia Christian Letitia Christian (1790-11-12)November 12, 1790 Tyler, John John Tyler
March 29, 1813
March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841 (1842-09-12)September 12, 1842(1842-09-12) (aged 51) 1841–1842
05.1 Vacant; no Vice President. April 4, 1841 – March 4, 1845  
06.0 6 Mrs Nicklin etching from Gilbert Stuart painting.jpg Dallas, Sophia Sophia Chew Nicklin (1798-06-24)June 24, 1798 Dallas, George M. George M. Dallas
1816
March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849 (1869-01-11)January 11, 1869(1869-01-11) (aged 70)
07.0 7 Abigail Fillmore (Library of Congress).jpg Fillmore, Abigail Abigail Powers (1798-03-13)March 13, 1798 Fillmore, Millard Millard Fillmore
February 5, 1826
March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850 (1853-03-30)March 30, 1853(1853-03-30) (aged 55) 1850–1853
07.1 Vacant; no Vice President. July 9, 1850 – March 4, 1853  
07.2 Vacant; King, William R. William R. King was unmarried. March 4, 1853 – April 18, 1853  
07.3 Vacant; no Vice President. April 18, 1853 – March 4, 1857  
08.0 8 Mary-Cyrene-Breckinridge.jpg Breckinridge, Mary Cyrene Burch Mary Cyrene Burch (1826-08-16)August 16, 1826 Breckinridge, John C. John C. Breckinridge
December 12, 1843
March 4, 1857 – March 4, 1861 (1907-10-08)October 8, 1907(1907-10-08) (aged 81)
09.0 9 Ellen Hamlin.jpg Hamlin, Ellen Ellen Vesta Emery (1835-09-14)September 14, 1835 Hamlin, Hannibal Hannibal Hamlin
1856
March 4, 1861 – March 4, 1865 (1925-02-01)February 1, 1925(1925-02-01) (aged 89)
10 Mrs-E-Johnson.jpg Johnson, Eliza Eliza McCardle (1810-10-04)October 4, 1810 Johnson, Andrew Andrew Johnson
May 17, 1827
March 4, 1865 – April 15, 1865 (1876-01-15)January 15, 1876(1876-01-15) (aged 65) 1865–1869
10.1 Vacant; no Vice President. April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869  
11 Ellen Maria Colfax.jpg Colfax, Ellen Maria Ellen Maria Wade (1836-07-26)(1836-07-26)July 26, 1836 Colfax, Schuyler Schuyler Colfax
November 18, 1868
March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1873 (1911-03-04)March 4, 1911(1911-03-04) (aged 74)
11.1 Vacant; Wilson, Henry Henry Wilson was a widower. March 4, 1873 – November 22, 1875  
11.2 Vacant; no Vice President. November 22, 1875 – March 4, 1877  
11.3 Vacant; Wheeler, William A. William A. Wheeler was a widower. March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881  
11.4 Vacant; Arthur, Chester A. Chester A. Arthur was a widower. March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881  
11.5 Vacant; no Vice President. September 19, 1881 – March 4, 1885  
12 Eliza Hendricks.jpg Hendricks, Eliza Eliza Carol Morgan (1823-11-23)November 23, 1823 Hendricks, Thomas A. Thomas A. Hendricks
September 26, 1845
March 4, 1885 – November 25, 1885 (1903-01-03)January 3, 1903(1903-01-03) (aged 79)
12.1 Vacant; no Vice President. November 25, 1885 – March 4, 1889  
13 Anna Morton.jpg Morton, Anna Anna Livingston Reade Street (1846-05-18)May 18, 1846 Morton, Levi P. Levi P. Morton
1873
March 4, 1889 – March 4, 1893 (1918-08-14)August 14, 1918(1918-08-14) (aged 72)
14 Letitiastevenson.jpg Stevenson, Letitia Letitia Green (1843-01-08)January 8, 1843 Stevenson, Adlai I Adlai Stevenson I
December 22, 1866
March 4, 1893 – March 4, 1897 (1913-12-25)December 25, 1913(1913-12-25) (aged 70)
15 JTHobart.gif Hobart, Jennie Esther Jane "Jennie" Tuttle (1849-04-30)April 30, 1849 Hobart, Garret Garret Hobart
July 21, 1869
March 4, 1897 – November 21, 1899 (1941-01-08)January 8, 1941(1941-01-08) (aged 91)
15.1 Vacant; no Vice President. November 21, 1899 – March 4, 1901  
16 Edith Roosevelt.jpg Roosevelt, Edith Edith Kermit Carow (1861-08-06)August 6, 1861 Roosevelt, Theodore Theodore Roosevelt
December 2, 1886
March 4, 1901 – September 14, 1901 (1948-09-30)September 30, 1948(1948-09-30) (aged 87) 1901–1909
16.1 Vacant; no Vice President. September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1905  
17 Fairbanks 4408868314 de2f1cd85b o.jpg Fairbanks, Cornelia Cornelia "Nellie" Cole January 1852 Fairbanks, Charles W. Charles W. Fairbanks
1874
Mary 4, 1905 – March 4, 1909 (1913-10-25)October 25, 1913(1913-10-25) (aged 61)
18 Mrs. Sherman.jpg Sherman, Carrie Carrie Babcock (1856-11-16)November 16, 1856 Sherman, James S. James S. Sherman
January 26, 1881
March 4, 1909 – October 30, 1912 (1931-10-06)October 6, 1931(1931-10-06) (aged 74)
18.1 Vacant; no Vice President. October 30, 1912 – March 4, 1913  
19 Mrs. Thos. R. Marshall.jpg Marshall, Lois Irene Lois Irene Kimsey (1873-05-09)May 9, 1873 Marshall, Thomas R. Thomas R. Marshall
October 2, 1895
March 4, 1913 – March 4, 1921 (1958-01-06)January 6, 1958(1958-01-06) (aged 84)
20 Grace Coolidge knitting.jpg Coolidge, Grace Grace Anna Goodhue (1879-01-03)January 3, 1879 Coolidge, Calvin Calvin Coolidge
October 4, 1905
March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923 (1957-07-08)July 8, 1957(1957-07-08) (aged 78) 1923–1929
20.1 Vacant; no Vice President. August 2, 1923 – March 4, 1925  
21 Caro Dawes 1924.jpg Dawes, Caro Caro Dana Blymyer (1866-01-06)January 6, 1866 Dawes, Charles G. Charles G. Dawes
1889
March 4, 1925 – March 4, 1929 (1957-10-03)October 3, 1957(1957-10-03) (aged 91)
21.1 Vacant; Curtis, Charles Charles Curtis was a widower. March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933  
22 Mrs. John Nance Garner.jpg Garner, Mariette Mariette Elizabeth Rheiner (1869-07-17)July 17, 1869 Garner, John Nance John Nance Garner
November 25, 1895
March 4, 1933 – January 20, 1941 (1948-08-17)August 17, 1948(1948-08-17) (aged 79)
23 Mrs. Henry Wallace.jpg Wallace, Ilo Ilo Browne (1888-03-10)March 10, 1888 Wallace, Henry A. Henry A. Wallace
May 20, 1914
January 20, 1941 – January 20, 1945 (1981-02-22)February 22, 1981(1981-02-22) (aged 92)
24 Bess Truman cropped.jpg Truman, Bess Elizabeth Virginia "Bess" Wallace (1885-02-13)February 13, 1885 Truman, Harry S. Harry S. Truman
June 28, 1919
January 20, 1945 – April 12, 1945 (1982-10-18)October 18, 1982(1982-10-18) (aged 97) 1945–1953
24.1 Vacant; no Vice President. April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1949  
24.2 Vacant; Barkley, Alben W. Alben W. Barkley was a widower. January 20, 1949 – November 18, 1949  
25 Jane Barkley.jpg Barkley, Jane Hadley Elizabeth Jane Rucker (1911-09-23)September 23, 1911 Barkley, Alben W. Alben W. Barkley
November 18, 1949
November 18, 1949 – January 20, 1953 (1964-09-06)September 6, 1964(1964-09-06) (aged 52)
26 PatNixon.jpg Nixon, Pat Thelma Catherine "Pat" Ryan (1912-03-16)March 16, 1912 Nixon, Richard Richard Nixon
June 21, 1940
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961 (1993-06-22)June 22, 1993(1993-06-22) (aged 81) 1969–1974
27 Lady Bird Johnson 1987.jpg Johnson, Lady Bird Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Taylor (1912-12-22)December 22, 1912 Johnson, Lyndon B. Lyndon B. Johnson
November 17, 1934
January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963 (2007-07-11)July 11, 2007(2007-07-11) (aged 94) 1963–1969
27.1 Vacant; no Vice President. November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1965  
28 Senator Muriel Humphrey (D-MN).jpg Humphrey, Muriel Muriel Fay Buck (1912-02-20)February 20, 1912 Humphrey, Hubert Hubert Humphrey
September 3, 1936
January 20, 1965 – January 20, 1969 (1998-09-20)September 20, 1998(1998-09-20) (aged 86)
29 Mrs. Agnew.tif Agnew, Judy Elinor Isabel "Judy" Judefind (1921-04-23)April 23, 1921 Agnew, Spiro Spiro Agnew
May 27, 1942
January 20, 1969 – October 10, 1973 (2012-06-20)June 20, 2012(2012-06-20) (aged 91)
30.1 Vacant; no Vice President. October 10, 1973 – December 6, 1973  
30 Betty Ford, official White House photo color, 1974.jpg Ford, Betty Elizabeth Ann "Betty" Bloomer (1918-04-08)April 8, 1918 Ford, Gerald Gerald Ford
October 15, 1948
December 6, 1973 – August 9, 1974 (2011-07-08)July 8, 2011(2011-07-08) (aged 93) 1974–1977
30.1 Vacant; no Vice President. August 9, 1974 – December 19, 1974  
31 Happy Rockefeller 1973.JPG Rockefeller, Happy Margaretta Large "Happy" Fitler (1926-06-09)June 9, 1926 Rockefeller, Nelson Nelson Rockefeller
May 4, 1963
December 19, 1974 – January 20, 1977 (2015-05-19)May 19, 2015(2015-05-19) (aged 88)
32 1977JoanMondaleNARA173414crop.jpg Mondale, Joan Joan Adams (1930-08-08)August 8, 1930 Mondale, Walter Walter Mondale
December 27, 1955
January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981 (2014-02-03)February 3, 2014(2014-02-03) (aged 83)
33 Barbara Bush portrait.jpg Bush, Barbara Barbara Pierce (1925-06-08)June 8, 1925 Bush, George H. W. George H. W. Bush
January 6, 1945
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989 2017-07-24 Living 1989–1993
34 Marilyn Quayle.jpg Quayle, Marilyn Marilyn Tucker (1949-07-29)July 29, 1949 Quayle, Dan Dan Quayle
November 18, 1972
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993 2017-07-24 Living
35 Mary Elizabeth Gore.JPG Gore, Tipper Mary Elizabeth "Tipper" Aitcheson (1948-08-19)August 19, 1948 Gore, Al Al Gore
May 19, 1970
January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001 2017-07-24 Living
36 Lynne Cheney 2007Apr17.jpg Cheney, Lynne Lynne Ann Vincent (1941-08-14)August 14, 1941 Cheney, Dick Dick Cheney
August 29, 1964
January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009 2017-07-24 Living
37 Jill Biden official portrait crop.jpg Biden, Jill Jill Tracy Jacobs (1951-06-03)June 3, 1951 Biden, Joe Joe Biden
June 17, 1977
January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017 2017-07-24 Living
38 Karen Pence official portrait.jpg Pence, KarenKaren Sue Batten (1958-11-18)November 18, 1958 Pence, MikeMike Pence
June 8, 1985
January 20, 2017 – present 2017-07-24Living

List of living former Second Ladies

As of July 2017, there are five living former Second Ladies. The most recent second lady to die was Nelson Rockefeller's widow, Happy Rockefeller on May 19, 2015. The most recently serving second lady to die was Walter Mondale's wife, Joan Mondale, on February 3, 2014.

See also

References

  1. ^ Purcell, Edward (2010). Vice Presidents: A Biographical Dictionary. InfoBase. p. 237. ISBN 1438130716. 
  2. ^ a b Safire, William (2008). Safire's Political Dictionary. Oxford University Press. p. 249. ISBN 0195343344. 
  3. ^ "Mrs. Karen Pence". whitehouse.gov. 24 December 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  4. ^ Bump, Philip (July 5, 2017). "Trump is enthusiastic to learn a political term that’s been in use for at least 127 years". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 6, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Mrs. Lynne Cheney". whitehouse.gov. The White House. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  6. ^ Abcarian, Robin Abcarian (2 February 2009). "Hi, I'm Jill. Jill Biden. But please, call me Dr. Biden". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  7. ^ Hannity & Colmes (16 September 2008). "Second Lady Lynne Cheney on Her New Book, Media's Treatment of Sarah Palin". Fox News. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 

External links

  • "Dr. Jill Biden". Retrieved January 20, 2009.  – The Official White House site for the Second Lady
  • "Wives of Vice Presidents". Vice Presidents.com. Archived from the original on September 1, 2005. Retrieved October 7, 2005.  – List of the wives of Vice Presidents
  • "Ask Yahoo! – What is the formal title for the wife of the vice president?". Archived from the original on 13 January 2013. 
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