LeHand, Marguerite, 1896-1944
Biographical / Historical
Marguerite Alice LeHand, nicknamed "Missy" by the Roosevelt children, was the confidential private secretary of Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1920, when FDR campaigned for vice-president, until she became incapacitated by a stroke in June 1941. She was born in Potsdam, New York, on September 13, 1896, and grew up in Somerville, Massachusetts. After graduating high school in 1917, she attended secretarial school and subsequently, employed at the national headquarters of the Democratic Party where she met Franklin D. Roosevelt. When Roosevelt was stricken with polio in 1921, Missy accompanied him to Warm Springs for treatment. She was responsible for hostess and housekeeping duties, in Eleanor Roosevelt's absence, in addition to her secretarial duties. She was also Roosevelt's traveling companion. Missy retained her many faceted role when Roosevelt re-entered public life, and she remained a resident member of the Roosevelt household at the Governor's Mansion in Albany and later the White House until she suffered a stroke in 1941. She died on July 31, 1944, in Somerville, Massachusetts.