Wilson, Edith

Wilson, Edith (b. Bolling Galt)

(1872–1961) First Lady; born in Wytherville, Va. Widow of a Washington jeweler, she met and married the widower President Woodrow Wilson in 1915. Although she lacked an advanced formal education, she was intelligent and immediately became the mainstay of Wilson's personal life. After his stroke in 1919, she served as the liaison between him and government officials—even guiding his hand when he signed documents—but she probably did not make the important decisions as she is sometimes accused of doing. After his death in 1924 she kept his ideals alive through the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.