The official position of “the first lady” does not exist, but the countries’ leaders’ wives always play a rather important role in the country’s official activities.
Especially in the USA, where, in fact, this concept came from. Some former first ladies get so tired of being in the spotlight that they crave privacy and quiet life, but the lack of social responsibilities seems rather boring for most.
1. Eleanor Roosevelt (1933 to 1945)
After leaving the White House, Eleanor Roosevelt did not become an ordinary housewife. She remained socially active and continued to do everything that she did when she was the first lady. She fought for women’s rights, spoke out against gender inequality and racism.
2. Jacqueline Kennedy (from 1961 to 1963)
After the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline endured mourning and then returned to public duties. She visited Cambodia with a diplomatic mission during the Vietnam War, participated in events. Later, when the second husband, Jacqueline Aristotle Onassis, passed away, the former first lady tried to live without attracting much attention and even worked as an editor at a publishing house. True, she still always remained in the spotlight and continued to protect the architectural heritage of the United States until the end of her days.
3. Rosalynn Carter (1977 to 1981)
It seems that the 39th First Lady of the United States was much more worried about the election defeat of her husband Jimmy Carter than he himself. She did not imagine herself outside of politics, and therefore, having left the White House, Rosalynn and her husband continued to do their usual business, but on a smaller scale.
Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter made frequent appearances on television, participated in diplomatic missions, and opened special centers for people with mental illness. Rosalynn has been active in women’s and children’s rights. Her main achievement can be considered a law promoted to Congress on the insurance of people with mental illness.
4. Nancy Reagan (1981 to 1989)
The most “expensive” first lady of the United States did not go unnoticed by the press after Ronald Reagan left the post of US President. She patronized numerous foundations of her name, wrote memoirs, answered questions from the US Internal Revenue Service, which accused the Reagans of concealing and embezzling taxes, which, by the way, they had to pay.
Later, Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and Nancy selflessly looked after her husband until the end of his days. After the death of her husband, she began to invest in the study of stem cells, took part in official events, opened research centers and libraries. In 2016, Nancy Reagan passed away at the age of 94.
5. Barbara Bush (1989 to 1993)
After leaving the post of the first lady, Barbara Bush began to re-learn to cook and drive a car because she completely forgot how to do this in the White House. After her son George W. Bush became president of the United States, Barbara Bush began to give frequent interviews defending her course. She took an active part in all events almost until she died in 2018.
6. Hillary Clinton (1993 to 2001)
After leaving the White House, Hillary Clinton became even more active in politics, was a senator from the state of New York, twice took part in the presidential race, and served as Secretary of State. She published a memoir about the 2016 elections, for the publication of which she earns outstanding royalties.
7. Laura Bush (2001 to 2009)
As she did as First Lady, after leaving the White House, Laura Bush continued to work on women’s and children’s rights, gender equality, and programs to improve women’s health. Even today, she comes up with numerous initiatives, opens funds and libraries, supports veterans, and often gives interviews. In addition, Laura Bush has always supported Michelle Obama and often took part in events with her.
8. Michelle Obama (2009 to 2017)
As the 44th First Lady, Michelle Obama was quite active. On her initiative, several social and charitable projects were launched. After the couple left the White House, they spent some time quite secluded and then began to engage in socially valuable affairs. Michelle Obama has written a book that has become a bestseller in the United States. She takes part in conferences and summits, often speaks, and does not intend to retire at all. She is most interested in the problems of children and youth.
It is very difficult to be the spouse of the first person of the state, and not every woman can cope with this burden. In addition to the fact that certain responsibilities are imposed on the head of a state’s spouse, she has to pay increased attention to her personality. Her biography is being studied, and for some reason, the slightest flaws in her appearance are not considered indecent to be discussed in society. And after everything ends, the husband leaves the post, and his wife again goes into the shadows.