The wives of U.S. presidents are often important American figures in their own right. Although they have no official responsibilities, first ladies are a highly visible part of U.S. government. The role of the first lady has evolved over the centuries, from hostess of the White House to advocates for public policy. Learn about the different causes first ladies like Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama have championed over the years, from literacy to addiction to health care reform.
Barbara Bush has decided to stop seeking medical treatment to prolong her life and focus on comfort care, a spokesman said. The mother and wife of presidents has been in and out of the hospital and suffers from congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
When Hillary Clinton was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2001, she became the first American first lady to ever win a public office seat. She later became the 67th U.S. secretary of state in 2009, serving until 2013. In 2016, she became the first woman in U.S. history to become the presidential nominee of a major political party.
Michelle Obama’s memoir, ‘Becoming,’ is slated to go on sale on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018 -- a week after the midterm elections. The work of “deep reflection and and mesmerizing storytelling” by the former first lady will be both autobiographical and reveal life inside the White House.