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.
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.
Promoting her cyberbullying campaign, Melania Trump warned of “destructive” and "harmful" social media. "This is why Be Best chooses to focus on the importance of teaching our next generation how to conduct themselves safely and in a positive manner in an online setting," she said.
Former First Lady Laura Bush described a policy splitting up families who illegally cross the U.S.-Mexican border as cruel, immoral and heart breaking in the Washington Post. A spokesperson for Melania Trump said she "hates to see children separated from their families."