October 02, 2003

Presidential Fun Fact of the Day

Florence Harding.

"I have only one hobby--my husband," Florence would tell curious reporters. Warren seemed to agree, once saying his car was the only thing "Florence did not have a desire to run."

She had grown up in a wealthy family and was headstrong and educated. She eloped in 1880 with Henry DeWolfe, who ended up being an alcoholic. The marriage soon disintegrated. Florence's father had disapproved of the match and refused to help his daughter when she returned to her hometown, baby boy in tow. So she became a piano teacher and managed to support herself.

When she was thirty years old, she began seeing Warren, who was five years her junior. They married in 1891, and Florence soon took over the business end of the newspaper Warren had bought. She managed the finances very well and made the business quite profitable. Later she was a key factor in Warren's political success, and was no doubt instrumental in his presidential election. Her controlling nature paid off for them both in business and politics.

In their personal life, things weren't quite as rosy. Warren had affairs and even fathered one child with a mistress, but he recognized his wife's contributions to his success. For her part, Florence was protective of Warren when scandals began surfacing in his administration. After his death she sat before his coffin and told him, "No one can hurt you now, Warren." Before she left the White House, she destroyed papers and letters that she thought would embarass her late husband.

Posted by Jennifer at October 2, 2003 09:10 AM


Blue! I LOVE blue! nice job!

Posted by: Susie at October 2, 2003 03:54 PM

Interesting that you mention that it's been rumoured that Florence killed Warren. After he died someone offered their condolences. She alledgedly replied "Well, maybe it's for the best."

Posted by: Tuning Spork at October 2, 2003 07:28 PM

I already talked about that when I did Warren Harding's pres. fun fact...on the old page.

Which reminds me, I need to talk to Pixy again about transferring that stuff.

Posted by: Jennifer at October 2, 2003 10:29 PM

Oh, and thanks, Susie, I've been playing with it...trying to customize the place a bit.

Posted by: Jennifer at October 2, 2003 10:30 PM

i love these fun facts.

Posted by: jim at October 3, 2003 07:44 AM