For years there were rumors swirling about this First Lady engaging in an affair with another woman.
Since she was a liberal icon, and the media tried to protect her from scandal.
But a new book documents the truth of this First Lady’s secret affair.
Eleanor Roosevelt was First Lady from 1933 until her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, died in 1945.
FDR was known to have committed adultery with Lucy Mercer while he was Secretary of the Navy in 1916.
Even after the affair was discovered, FDR would still see Mercer.
She was even in Hot Springs, Georgia with Roosevelt when he died while getting his portrait painted.
For years there were whispers that his wife, Eleanor, was also having an affair.
However, her partner was not another man.
Eleanor Roosevelt was secretly having an affair with another woman.
Most pundits dismissed these rumors as unsubstantiated gossip.
When he was promoting his 2014 film, ‘The Roosevelts: An Intimate History’, PBS historian Ken Burns shrugged off this speculation.
US News reports:
“The topic came up as Burns was talking at the National Press Club in Washington about his new seven part, 14-hour documentary, “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” which began airing Sunday night on PBS.
“She had spectacularly close – we would call them ‘intimate’ and ‘passionate’ friendships with a number of women … beyond that we don’t know anything,” Burns said of Eleanor. “I would also remind you that the film details not only these relationships, and their tenderness and genuineness, but also her absolute passionate relationships with three men other than her husband – though not sexual – that were in her life.”
But Susan Quinn’s new book, Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady, reveals the shocking truth.
The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis writes how the relationship was discovered:
“For years, I have heard rumors that Eleanor Roosevelt carried on a lesbian relationship. I think there’s even a rather crude joke about it on HBO’s “Veep.” But I had no idea there was written evidence until I received Susan Quinn’s book from Penguin Press, titled Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady.
It turns out, thousands of letters seem to buttress the case that a passionate relationship with AP journalist Lorena Hickok did, in fact, take place.
So how is it that this was kept under wraps for so long? It turns out that Eleanor Roosevelt gave the letters to the Roosevelt Library—to be opened ten years after her death. “But,” Quinn told me recently, “the woman who opened them was a journalist named Doris Faber, who was absolutely shocked and appalled. [And Faber] asked, ‘Can any reasonable person deny that these are love letters?’ And she asked the librarians at the FDR Library to lock them back up.”
I asked Quinn if Faber was personally repelled, or was she simply trying to preserve Roosevelt’s reputation as a historical figure and a progressive icon. “I think she was probably much more concerned about Eleanor Roosevelt’s reputation and her dignity, which was very important to people back then.”
While these revelations won’t have any effect on Eleanor Roosevelt’s historical reputation, they do add context to what was a complicated relationship between and her husband.