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First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: October 15, 1872 in Wytheville, Virginia
Died: December 28, 1961 in Washington, District of Columbia
Biography | show moreshow less
Edith Bolling Wilson (1872-1961), whose husband Norman had died in 1908, married 58-year-old widower President Woodrow Wilson, whose wife Ellen had died in the White House in 1914, in Washington, D.C. President Wilson suffered paralytic strokes on Sept. 26 and Oct. 2, 1919. According to her 1939 autobiography My Memoirs, Edith was told by neurologist Dr. Francis Dercum to "free him from worry". She read dispatches, referred matters to Cabinet officers, took Wilson's dictation and protected him from the stress of political problems. She claimed to have made no decisions regarding public policy but she did admit that her husband never read, never saw, never listened to and never signed anything she had not approved of first. The press called it a "Petticoat Government" or "Mrs. Wilson's Regency", and she was called "Madame President". Under his wife's care, Wilson lived another five years before dying in 1924 at the age of 67. Mrs. Wilson died at 89 on December 28, 1961, the 105th anniversary of her husband's birth.   

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