SHE WAS THE WHITE HOUSE SECRETARY TO PRESIDENT FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT AND EVENTUALLY FUNCTIONED AS WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF, THE ONLY WOMAN IN AMERICAN HISTORY TO DO SO.
Marguerite Alice "Missy" Le Hand (1896-1944) Typed Letter Signed, "M. A. Le Hand", 6.25 x 9.25, on "The White House" letterhead, July 14, 1933 (just a few months after FDR became U.S. President), private secretary to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt for 21 years. According to Le Hand's biographer, Kathryn Smith, in "The Gatekeeper," she eventually functioned as White House chief of staff, the only woman in American history to do so. This letter is acknowledging receipt of a letter to the President who is unable to comply "because of the great number of such requests being received by the President". Le hand was nicknamed "Missy" by FDR's children. She began her employment with Franklin D. Roosevelt after his defeat as the Democratic nominee for Vice President and continued as his secretary and confidant until 1941, when she suffered a debilitating stroke. In 1921, the year after their 21-year association began, FDR suffered his polio attack, and Le Hand often accompanied him to Warm Springs, Georgia for his treatments. Le Hand was not only responsible for FDR's correspondence, much of which she answered herself, she also held his power of attorney and managed his accounts and served as hostess when Eleanor was absent. Although some biographers have claimed that FDR and Missy Le Hand had an amorous relationship, she was warmly accepted by the President's family, including Eleanor. In fine condition, with usual mailing folds, light age toning, and small stain lower right edge.