FDR and Lucy: Lovers and Friends

CREATED Apr 10, 2013

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  • FDR and Lucy: Lovers and Friends by Resa Willis Image by Routledge Publishing

Guest: Resa Willis

The last face FDR saw before he died was that of Lucy Mercer Rutherford, his mistress of thirty-one years. Although Eleanor, his children, and the press knew about Lucy, the American public would not hear of her until 1966.

"FDR and Lucy" is the first book to delve into this hidden side of FDR's life. Drawing on documents from the Roosevelt Presidential Library as well as visits to Lucy's homes, biographer Resa Willis explores how this life-long love affair changed the course of his marriage and the presidency. Roosevelt fell in love with Lucy in 1914 and for the next three decades she provided him comfort from the pressures of his job and the critical eyes of his mother and wife.

Illuminating a critical era in American history, Willis explores why the press dared not report the affair. Willis also suggests that Eleanor's discovery of Lucy in 1918 marked the end of the Roosevelt's personal marriage and the beginning of their political marriage and Eleanor's groundbreaking activism. A true love story with historical impact, "FDR and Lucy" paints a compelling portrait of one of the most famous "other women" in American history, giving us a window into FDR's impassioned life and presidency.

Listen to Nick's interview with Resa

This author was featured on KSGF Mornings with Nick Reed on Thursday, April 11th.