Truman, Bess

Truman, (Elizabeth Virginia b. Wallace) Bess

(1885–1982) First Lady; born in Independence, Mo. The daughter of a farmer, she and Harry Truman were childhood sweethearts; they married in 1919. Although a private person, she exerted considerable influence over Truman's public career. The Trumans had one child, Margaret Truman, who after a brief career as a singer, retired to marry; later she became a writer. Following the presidency, Bess lived quietly until her death.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.