Elizabeth Virginia Wallace Truman

First Lady
Born: 2/13/1885
Birthplace: Independence, Missouri

Elizabeth Virginia "Bess" Truman was a dutiful hostess as first lady. She oversaw the planning of social engagements, from teas to state dinners. But Mrs. Truman was a private person who shied away from the press.

Mrs. Truman was born on February 13, 1885, in Independence, Missouri. She and Harry S. Truman attended the same schools from grade five through high school graduation. She attended Barstow, a girls' finishing school in Kansas City. She and Mr. Truman married in 1919, a month after Mr. Truman was discharged from the Army. Their only child, Mary Margaret, was born in 1924.

The family moved to Washington in 1934, when Mr. Truman was elected to the U.S. Senate. Mrs. Truman was active in several service organizations and served as her husband's secretary when he became chairman of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program, which is better known as the Truman Committee.

As first lady, Mrs. Truman served as Honorary President of the Girl Scouts, Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross, and Honorary President of the Women's National Democratic Club.

The Trumans returned to Independence in 1953. Mrs. Truman died in 1982.

Died: 10/18/1982
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