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|Second Lady of the|
United States of America
|Style||Mrs. Pence (informal)|
Madam Second Lady (formal)
|Residence||Number One Observatory Circle|
|Inaugural holder||Abigail Adams|
|Formation||April 21, 1789|
The Second Lady of the United States (SLOTUS) is the informal title held by the wife of the Vice President of the United States, concurrent with the vice president's term of office. This title is less commonly used than the title First Lady of the United States.
The Vice President of the United States is the second-highest officer in the executive branch of the U.S. federal government, after the President of the United States, and ranks first in the presidential line of succession. The vice president is also an officer in the legislative branch, as President of the Senate. In this capacity, the vice president presides over Senate deliberations, but may not vote except to cast a tie-breaking vote. The vice president also presides over joint sessions of Congress.
The First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) is the title held by the hostess of the White House, usually the wife of the President of the United States, concurrent with the President's term in office. Although the First Lady's role has never been codified or officially defined, she figures prominently in the political and social life of the nation. Since the early 20th century, the First Lady has been assisted by official staff, now known as the Office of the First Lady and headquartered in the East Wing of the White House. Melania Trump is the current First Lady of the United States, as wife of 45th president, Donald Trump.
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, Garret Hobart was Vice President from 1897 to 1899) to refer to herself.
Second Lady or Second Gentleman is a title sometimes used in reference to the spouse of a vice president or a lieutenant governor, and if no office of vice president or lieutenant governor exists, of a prime minister or premier/chief minister of a republic, and to the deputy prime minister or deputy premier/deputy chief minister of a monarchy, styled relative to the title of First Lady, the wife of a president or governor of a republic or of a prime minister or premier/chief minister of a monarchy.
The President of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.
Esther Jane "Jennie" Tuttle Hobart was the wife of Vice President Garret Hobart and a philanthropist and community activist in New Jersey.
The title later fell out of favor, but was revived in the 1980s.During the 1990s the title was again abandoned, in favor of "wife of the Vice President", but was later resurrected during the presidency of Barack Obama. Its use was continued by the administration of Donald Trump, , although Donald Trump himself said, during his presidency, that he had never heard the term.
The presidency of Barack Obama began at noon EST on January 20, 2009, when Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States, and ended on January 20, 2017. Obama, a Democrat, took office following a decisive victory over Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. Four years later, in the 2012 election, he defeated Republican Mitt Romney to win re-election. He was the first African American president, the first multiracial president, the first non-white president, and the first president to have been born in Hawaii. Obama was succeeded by Republican Donald Trump, who won the 2016 presidential election.
The presidency of Donald Trump began at noon EST on January 20, 2017, when Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States, succeeding Barack Obama. A Republican, Trump was a businessman and reality television personality from New York City at the time of his 2016 presidential election victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. While Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, he won the Electoral College vote, 304 to 227, in a presidential contest that American intelligence agencies believe was targeted by a Russian sabotage campaign. By the end of his first year in office, opinion polls showed Trump to be the least popular president in modern history. Trump has made many false or misleading statements during his campaign and presidency. The statements have been documented by fact-checkers, and the media have widely described the phenomenon as unprecedented in American politics.
Fourteen Second Ladies have gone on to become First Lady of the United States during their husband's terms as President. The first to do this was Abigail Adams, who was married to John Adams, who was the first Vice President from 1789 to 1797 and then second President from 1797 to 1801. The last to do this was Barbara Bush, who was married to George H. W. Bush, who was the 43rd Vice President from 1981 to 1989 and then 41st President from 1989 to 1993.
Abigail Adams was the wife and closest advisor of John Adams, as well as the mother of John Quincy Adams. She is sometimes considered to have been a Founder of the United States, and is now designated as the first Second Lady and second First Lady of the United States, although these titles were not used at the time.
John Adams was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He served as the second president of the United States (1797–1801), after serving as the first vice president (1789–1797). He was a lawyer, diplomat, and leader of American independence from Great Britain. Adams was a dedicated diarist, and correspondent with his wife and advisor Abigail, recording important historical information on the era.
Barbara Bush was the First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993 as the wife of George H. W. Bush, who served as the 41st President of the United States, and founder of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. She previously was Second Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Among her six children are George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, and Jeb Bush, the 43rd Governor of Florida.
The current Second Lady is Karen Pence, who is married to Mike Pence, who has been the 48th Vice President in Donald Trump's administration since January 20, 2017.
Karen Sue Pence is an American educator, teacher, painter, and since 2017, the Second Lady of the United States. She is married to the 48th and current Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence. She was formerly the First Lady of Indiana from January 14, 2013 to January 9, 2017.
Michael Richard Pence is an American politician and lawyer serving as the 48th and current vice president of the United States. He previously was the 50th governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017 and a member of the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. He is the younger brother of U.S. Representative Greg Pence.
There are four living former second ladies: Marilyn Quayle, wife of Dan Quayle; Tipper Gore, now separated wife of Al Gore; Lynne Cheney, wife of Dick Cheney; and Jill Biden, wife of Joe Biden.
Marilyn Tucker Quayle is an American lawyer and novelist. She is the wife of the 44th Vice President of the United States, Dan Quayle, and served as Second Lady of the United States from 1989 until 1993.
James Danforth Quayle is an American politician and lawyer who served as the 44th vice president of the United States from 1989 to 1993. Quayle was also a U.S. representative from 1977 to 1981 and was a U.S. senator from 1981 to 1989 for the state of Indiana.
Mary Elizabeth "Tipper" Gore is an American social issues advocate who was Second Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001, and the wife of Al Gore, the 45th Vice President of the United States, from whom she separated in 2010.
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.
In one notable exception, 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.
Pat Nixon, wife of Vice President Richard Nixon, was the first Second Lady to add a great deal of substance to the role of the Vice President's wife. When Nixon assumed the position in 1953, the role's only official function was to preside over the once-annual Senate Ladies Luncheon.Instead, Nixon launched her own initiatives, sensing great opportunities that her role provided. She established a schedule separate from that of her husband, which often consisted of solo activities. As Second Lady, Nixon traveled more than 125,000 miles around the world to six continents, including a two-month, 42,000-mile journey through Asia in 1953. As she undertook missions of goodwill across the world, she insisted on visiting schools, orphanages, hospitals and village markets rather than attend tea or coffee functions. In this sense, Nixon essentially created the modern role of the Second Lady; historian Kate Andersen Brower wrote, "she helped to define this nebulous role for an entire generation of women who would succeed her."
In 1978, Muriel Humphrey, wife of Vice President Hubert Humphrey, became the only former Second Lady to hold public office; after her husband, who had returned to the U.S. Senate after his term as vice-president, died in office, she was appointed by Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich to continue her husband's term. 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.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. 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.
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.
|Image||Second Lady||Date of birth||Vice President|
|Tenure||Date of death (age)||Tenure as First Lady|
|Abigail Smith||November 11, 1744||John Adams |
October 25, 1764
|April 21, 1789 – March 4, 1797||October 28, 1818 (aged 73)||1797–1801|
|Thomas Jefferson was a widower.Vacant;||March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801|
|Aaron Burr was a widower.Vacant;||March 4, 1801 – March 4, 1805|
|George Clinton was a widower.Vacant;||March 4, 1805 – April 20, 1812|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||April 20, 1812 – March 4, 1813|
|Ann Thompson||August 12, 1763||Elbridge Gerry |
January 12, 1786
|March 4, 1813 – November 23, 1814||March 17, 1849 (aged 85)|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||November 23, 1814 – March 4, 1817|
|Hannah Minthorne||August 28, 1781||Daniel D Tompkins |
February 20, 1798
|March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825||February 18, 1829 (aged 47)|
|Floride Bonneau Calhoun||February 15, 1792||John C. Calhoun |
January 8, 1811
|March 4, 1825 – December 28, 1832||July 25, 1866 (aged 74)|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||December 28, 1832 – March 4, 1833|
|Martin Van Buren was a widower.Vacant;||March 4, 1833 – March 4, 1837|
|Richard M. Johnson was a widower via common-law marriage.Vacant;||March 4, 1837 – March 4, 1841|
|Letitia Christian||November 12, 1790||John Tyler |
March 29, 1813
|March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841||September 12, 1842 (aged 51)||1841–1842|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||April 4, 1841 – March 4, 1845|
|Sophia Chew Nicklin||June 24, 1798||George M. Dallas |
|March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849||January 11, 1869 (aged 70)|
|Abigail Powers||March 13, 1798||Millard Fillmore |
February 5, 1826
|March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850||March 30, 1853 (aged 55)||1850–1853|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||July 9, 1850 – March 4, 1853|
|William R. King was unmarried.Vacant;||March 4, 1853 – April 18, 1853|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||April 18, 1853 – March 4, 1857|
|Mary Cyrene Burch||August 16, 1826||John C. Breckinridge |
December 12, 1843
|March 4, 1857 – March 4, 1861||October 8, 1907 (aged 81)|
|Ellen Vesta Emery||September 14, 1835||Hannibal Hamlin |
|March 4, 1861 – March 4, 1865||February 1, 1925 (aged 89)|
|Eliza McCardle||October 4, 1810||Andrew Johnson |
May 17, 1827
|March 4, 1865 – April 15, 1865||January 15, 1876 (aged 65)||1865–1869|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869|
|Ellen Maria Wade||July 26, 1836||Schuyler Colfax |
November 18, 1868
|March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1873||March 4, 1911 (aged 74)|
|Henry Wilson was a widower.Vacant;||March 4, 1873 – November 22, 1875|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||November 22, 1875 – March 4, 1877|
|William A. Wheeler was a widower.Vacant;||March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881|
|Chester A. Arthur was a widower.Vacant;||March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||September 19, 1881 – March 4, 1885|
|Eliza Carol Morgan||November 23, 1823||Thomas A. Hendricks |
September 26, 1845
|March 4, 1885 – November 25, 1885||January 3, 1903 (aged 79)|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||November 25, 1885 – March 4, 1889|
|Anna Livingston Reade Street||May 18, 1846||Levi P. Morton |
|March 4, 1889 – March 4, 1893||August 14, 1918 (aged 72)|
|Letitia Green||January 8, 1843||Adlai Stevenson I |
December 22, 1866
|March 4, 1893 – March 4, 1897||December 25, 1913 (aged 70)|
|Esther Jane "Jennie" Tuttle||April 30, 1849||Garret Hobart |
July 21, 1869
|March 4, 1897 – November 21, 1899||January 8, 1941 (aged 91)|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||November 21, 1899 – March 4, 1901|
|Edith Kermit Carow||August 6, 1861||Theodore Roosevelt |
December 2, 1886
|March 4, 1901 – September 14, 1901||September 30, 1948 (aged 87)||1901–1909|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1905|
|Cornelia "Nellie" Cole||January 1852||Charles W. Fairbanks |
|March 4, 1905 – March 4, 1909||October 25, 1913 (aged 61)|
|Carrie Babcock||November 16, 1856||James S. Sherman |
January 26, 1881
|March 4, 1909 – October 30, 1912||October 6, 1931 (aged 74)|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||October 30, 1912 – March 4, 1913|
|Lois Irene Kimsey||May 9, 1873||Thomas R. Marshall |
October 2, 1895
|March 4, 1913 – March 4, 1921||January 6, 1958 (aged 84)|
|Grace Anna Goodhue||January 3, 1879||Calvin Coolidge |
October 4, 1905
|March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923||July 8, 1957 (aged 78)||1923–1929|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||August 2, 1923 – March 4, 1925|
|Caro Dana Blymyer||January 6, 1866||Charles G. Dawes |
|March 4, 1925 – March 4, 1929||October 3, 1957 (aged 91)|
|Charles Curtis was a widower.Vacant;||March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933|
|Mariette Elizabeth Rheiner||July 17, 1869||John Nance Garner |
November 25, 1895
|March 4, 1933 – January 20, 1941||August 17, 1948 (aged 79)|
|Ilo Browne||March 10, 1888||Henry A. Wallace |
May 20, 1914
|January 20, 1941 – January 20, 1945||February 22, 1981 (aged 92)|
|Elizabeth Virginia "Bess" Wallace||February 13, 1885||Harry S. Truman |
June 28, 1919
|January 20, 1945 – April 12, 1945||October 18, 1982 (aged 97)||1945–1953|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1949|
|Alben W. Barkley was a widower.Vacant;||January 20, 1949 – November 18, 1949|
|Elizabeth Jane Rucker||September 23, 1911||Alben W. Barkley |
November 18, 1949
|November 18, 1949 – January 20, 1953||September 6, 1964 (aged 52)|
|Thelma Catherine "Pat" Ryan||March 16, 1912||Richard Nixon |
June 21, 1940
|January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961||June 22, 1993 (aged 81)||1969–1974|
|Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Taylor||December 22, 1912||Lyndon B. Johnson |
November 17, 1934
|January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963||July 11, 2007 (aged 94)||1963–1969|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1965|
|Muriel Fay Buck||February 20, 1912||Hubert Humphrey |
September 3, 1936
|January 20, 1965 – January 20, 1969||September 20, 1998 (aged 86)|
|Elinor Isabel "Judy" Judefind||April 23, 1921||Spiro Agnew |
May 27, 1942
|January 20, 1969 – October 10, 1973||June 20, 2012 (aged 91)|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||October 10, 1973 – December 6, 1973|
|Elizabeth Ann "Betty" Bloomer||April 8, 1918||Gerald Ford |
October 15, 1948
|December 6, 1973 – August 9, 1974||July 8, 2011 (aged 93)||1974–1977|
|Vacant; no Vice President.||August 9, 1974 – December 19, 1974|
|Margaretta Large "Happy" Fitler||June 9, 1926||Nelson Rockefeller |
May 4, 1963
|December 19, 1974 – January 20, 1977||May 19, 2015 (aged 88)|
|Joan Adams||August 8, 1930||Walter Mondale |
December 27, 1955
|January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981||February 3, 2014 (aged 83)|
|Barbara Pierce||June 8, 1925||George H. W. Bush |
January 6, 1945
|January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989||April 17, 2018 (aged 92)||1989–1993|
|Marilyn Tucker||July 29, 1949||Dan Quayle |
November 18, 1972
|January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993|| Living|
69 years, 159 days
|Mary Elizabeth "Tipper" Aitcheson||August 19, 1948||Al Gore |
May 19, 1970
|January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001|| Living|
70 years, 138 days
|Lynne Ann Vincent||August 14, 1941||Dick Cheney |
August 29, 1964
|January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009|| Living|
77 years, 143 days
|Jill Tracy Jacobs||June 3, 1951||Joe Biden |
June 17, 1977
|January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017|| Living|
67 years, 215 days
|Karen Sue Batten||January 1, 1957||Mike Pence |
June 8, 1985
|January 20, 2017 – present||Living|
62 years, 3 days
As of January 2019, there are four living former Second Ladies, as identified below.
The most recent second lady to die, and most recent serving (1981–89) who died, was Barbara Bush on April 17, 2018.
Lynne Ann Cheney is an American author, scholar, and former talk-show host. She is the wife of the 46th Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney, and served as the Second Lady of the United States from 2001 to 2009.
Thelma Catherine Nixon, commonly known as Pat Nixon, was an American educator and the wife of Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States. During her more than 30 years in public life, she served as both the Second (1953–1961) and First Lady of the United States (1969–1974).
Floride Bonneau Calhoun was the wife of prominent U.S. politician John C. Calhoun. She is best known for her leading role in the Petticoat affair, which occurred while her husband was serving as Vice President. During the affair, Mrs. Calhoun led the Cabinet wives in ostracizing Peggy Eaton, the wife of Secretary of War John Eaton, whom they considered a woman of low morals. The affair helped damage relations between John C. Calhoun and President Andrew Jackson, and effectively ended any legitimate chance of Calhoun becoming President of the United States.
The United States Secret Service uses code names for U.S. presidents, first ladies, and other prominent persons and locations. The use of such names was originally for security purposes and dates to a time when sensitive electronic communications were not routinely encrypted; today, the names simply serve for purposes of brevity, clarity, and tradition. The Secret Service does not choose these names, however. The White House Communications Agency assigns them. WHCA was originally created as the White House Signal Detachment under Franklin Roosevelt.
Jill Tracy Biden is an American educator who is married to the 47th Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden. She served as Second Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017.
Catherine M. Russell is an American policymaker who was the United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues from May 8, 2013, until January 20, 2017. Before that, she was chief of staff to the Second Lady of the United States, Jill Biden.
The United States Senate Vice Presidential Bust Collection is a series of 45 busts in the United States Capitol, each one bearing the likenesses of a Vice President of the United States. Each sculpture, from John Adams to Dick Cheney, honors the role of the Vice President as both a member of the executive branch and as president of the Senate.
The 2016 United States presidential election was held on November 8, 2016, as part of the 2016 General Election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. South Carolina voters chose electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting the Republican Party's nominee, businessman Donald Trump, and running mate Indiana Governor Mike Pence against Democratic Party nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine.
Kate Andersen Brower is an American journalist and author who has written three books about the White House, two of which have been New York Times bestsellers, The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House, First Women: The Grace & Power of America's Modern First Ladies, and First in Line: Presidents, Vice Presidents, and the Pursuit of Power. She covered the White House for Bloomberg News during President Barack Obama's first term and before that she worked at CBS News and Fox News as a producer. She is also a CNN contributor and has written for the New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, and The Smithsonian.
This article shows the variation in the number of living vice presidents of the United States from the inauguration of the first vice president of the United States in 1789 until the present. The following table includes all persons who have taken the vice presidential oath of office. Currently, in addition to the incumbent, Mike Pence, there are five living former vice presidents: Walter Mondale (1977–1981), Dan Quayle (1989–1993), Al Gore (1993–2001), Dick Cheney (2001–2009), and Joe Biden (2009–2017).
Charlotte Rose Pence is an American writer, who is the middle daughter of the 48th Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, and, Second Lady of the United States, Karen Pence.