First Ladies of The United States of America


  1. Martha Washington (wife of George Washington)
  2. Abigail Adams (wife of John Adams)
  3. Martha Jefferson (wife of Thomas Jefferson)
  4. Dolley Payne Madison (wife of James Madison)
  5. Elizabeth Monroe (wife of James Monroe)
  6. Louisa Adams (wife of John Quincy Adams)
  7. Rachel Jackson (wife of Andrew Jackson)
  8. Hannah Van Buren (wife of Martin Van Buren)
  9. Anna Harrison (wife of William Henry Harrison)
  10. Letitia Tyler (wife of John Tyler)
  11. Julia Tyler (another wife of John Tyler)
  12. Sarah Polk (wife of James K. Polk)
  13. Margaret Taylor (wife of Zachary Taylor)
  14. Abigail Fillmore (wife of Millard Fillmore)
  15. Jane Pierce (wife of Franklin Pierce)
  16. Harriet Lane (wife of James Buchanan)
  17. Mary Todd Lincoln (wife of Abraham Lincoln)
  18. Eliza Johnson (wife of Andrew Johnson)
  19. Julia Grant (wife of Ulysses Simpson Grant)
  20. Lucy Hayes (wife of Rutherford Birchard Hayes)
  21. Lucretia Garfield (wife of James Abram Garfield)
  22. Ellen Arthur (wife of Chester A. Arthur)
  23. Frances Cleveland (wife of Grover Cleveland)
  24. Caroline Harrison (wife of Benjamin Harrison)
  25. Ida McKinley (wife of William McKinley)
  26. Edith Roosevelt (wife of Theodore Roosevelt)
  27. Helen Taft (wife of William Howard Taft)
  28. Ellen Wilson (wife of Woodrow Wilson)
  29. Edith Wilson (another wife of Woodrow Wilson)
  30. Florence Harding (wife of Warren Gamaliel Harding)
  31. Grace Coolidge (wife of Calvin Coolidge)
  32. Lou Hoover (wife of Herbert Hoover)
  33. Eleanor Roosevelt (wife of Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
  34. Bess Truman (wife of Harry S. Truman)
  35. Mamie Eisenhower (wife of Dwight D. Eisenhower)
  36. Jackie Kennedy Onassis (wife of John F. Kennedy)
  37. Lady Bird Johnson (wife of Lyndon B. Johnson)
  38. Pat Nixon (wife of Richard Nixon)
  39. Betty Ford (wife of Gerald Ford)
  40. Rosalynn Carter (wife of Jimmy Carter)
  41. Nancy Reagan (wife of Ronald Reagan)
  42. Barbara Bush (wife of George Bush)
  43. Hillary Clinton (wife of Bill Clinton)
  44. Laura Welch Bush (wife of George W. Bush)
  45. Michelle Obama (wife of Barack Obama)
According to Florence King's Reflections in a Jaundiced Eye, the term "First Lady" for the wife of a United States President is actually borrowed from Engish royal/noble titles. On occasions when a King of England was unmarried (no Queen Consort), his mother was not living (no Queen Mother/Dowager), and there is no Princess Royal (traditional title of the king's oldest sister), then the highest-ranking woman in the kingdom would be the wife of the oldest of the Royal Dukes (the king's brothers and in some circumstances uncles). She would go first in processions and get other queenly privileges, so she was designated "First Lady of England," though she would more commonly use her original title of Duchess. For example, John of Gaunt's wife Katherine, Duchess of Lancaster, was the First Lady of England after John's nephew Richard II's first wife died until Richard's second marriage.

I have found references to the term "First Lady of England," notably at http://www.swynford.force9.co.uk/johngaunt.htm, but I have not found any confirmation that the American title was chosen because of the English usage.

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