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Top five most influential first ladies in history

Being the wife of a head of state is not an easy job, and many of those whose husbands become presidents are not ready to be in full view all the time. But for some, the achievement of a high position by a spouse is a matter of honor.

During the election campaign, the candidate and his other half act as a united front, and after the victory, they again stand shoulder to shoulder in the political arena. We recall the most influential and brilliant first ladies in history.

1. Brigitte Macron

Brigitte Macron
©AFP – Brigitte Macron in 2017, wife of French President

She successfully helped Emmanuel Macron during the election campaign, and after he took over as President, she renounced the status of “first lady,” asking to call her simply the wife of the head of state. Brigitte requests support from 275 thousand French citizens who signed the corresponding petition. Nevertheless, in the status of the wife of the President of France, Brigitte Macron is actively involved in charity work and constantly accompanies her spouse during diplomatic meetings and visits.

2. Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt
©GettyImages – Eleanor Roosevelt with little girl

Her influence on Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his career are almost impossible to overestimate. During all four terms, when her husband served as President of the United States, she actively used her position to promote many reforms initiated by her husband and drew attention to social problems.

In 1939, she even surpassed her husband in popularity: 67% of Americans rated her activities positively, while Franklin Delano Roosevelt was given the same rating by 58% of those surveyed. Move and professionalism in solving many issues allowed her to take the post of US Secretary of Defense in 1941, during World War II.

3. Eva Peron

©World Future Fund – Eva Peron speeches in 1951

The second wife of the 39th and 41st President of Argentina, Juan Perona, helped her husband gain popularity among the working class and get the votes of ordinary people as they began to call the working class, thanks to her outstanding efforts. Eva Peron also gave rise to the adoption of the law on women’s suffrage, and schools, hospitals, and orphanages began to receive funds. She did not hold any official posts but personally received citizens in the Ministry of Labor, providing communication between the workers and the President, and assisted those in need.

She was called the most critical pillar of the Peronist regime. Only the opposition of the army leadership did not allow Eva Peron to take the post of vice-president in 1951. Still, shortly before her death from cancer in 1952, she awards the title of “Spiritual Leader of the Nation.”

4. Betty Ford

©Getty – Betty Ford

The wife of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford, is still called the country’s most sincere first lady. She and her husband were openly showing their feelings in public and were very open. Betty Ford not only supported her husband’s activities, but she also took an active position. With experience in the fight against breast cancer, the first lady of the United States spoke openly about her illness and conducted campaigns to prevent this disease, which saved the lives of many women.

She did not hesitate to voice her point of view on controversial issues and actively advocated equal rights for men and women, including pay and gun ownership.

After Gerald Ford left the presidency, his wife founded the foundation, giving it her name. The foundation’s main goal was the fight against alcoholism and drug addiction, from which she suffered.

5. Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama

The wife of Barack Obama in the American press was honored to compare Jacqueline Kennedy and Princess Diana. According to Forbes magazine, she took the most active part in social and political life, made speeches, and enjoyed tremendous authority. In 2010, she topped the list of the most influential women in the world.

She spoke at the Democratic Party conventions and dealt with childhood obesity, calling on society to help her. And in 2019, she took the third line to rank the highest-paid writer’s thanks to her published memoir entitled “Becoming.”

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