Mamie Geneva Doud Eisenhower
November 14, 1896, in Boone, Iowa
November 1, 1979, in Washington, D.C.
Mamie Eisenhower served as first lady throughout her husband Dwight Eisenhower’s two terms in the years 1953-1961. Mamie was 56 years old when she became first lady.
Eisenhower’s military career mandated that his family be constantly on the move, so when they moved into the White House after 36 years of marriage, they were at last able to initiate their most stable household yet. The Eisenhowers’ military life had placed them in locations around the U.S., as well as military posts abroad in London, France, Panama, and even the Philippines. This diverse international travel provided perfect training for a first lady who would need to manage a variety of challenging social situations. Mamie focused most of her energy as first lady in the traditional role of hostess, happily entertaining a constant stream of foreign leaders and ambassadors. To help organize her schedule, Mamie was the first first lady to hire a staff member to serve as her own personal secretary. Mamie’s devotion to her family and enthusiastic dedication to her role as hostess endeared her to many Americans.
Mamie never had a paid job, and she once noted that “Ike was my career.”