9 First Ladies Who Held Surprising Jobs
Melania Trump wins this contest. Mrs. Trump gets the prize for THE most surprising job held by a first lady before she moved into the White House. In January 2000 when she was dating Donald Trump, she posed nude for Britain's GQ magazine aboard Trump's Boeing 727 wearing handcuffs and diamonds and holding a chrome pistol. But other first ladies, even during times when married women traditionally did not work outside the home, have held jobs from banker to book editor and actress to artist.
Bet you didn't know THIS about the U.S. presidents! Find out who had a love child, who modeled in Cosmopolitan and who took the vice presidential oath of office totally drunk.
Bankrate.com and other sources have helpfully assembled a list of nine enterprising women and the jobs they held either prior to or after becoming first lady.
Ida McKinley: Banker
Before she married William McKinley who would become our 25th president, the then Ida Saxton worked as a banker at her father's Stark County Bank in Canton, Ohio, beginning as a clerk and working her way up to cashier. When her father was away, she stepped in as the bank manager, something that was quite controversial in the mid-1800s.
Ellen Wilson: Artist
By the time she was 18, the woman who would later marry President Woodrow Wilson was already earning money by drawing crayon portraits. In 1913, soon before she became first lady, she mounted a show in Philadelphia of 50 impressionist landscapes. Half of the paintings sold.
Eleanor Roosevelt: Writer, U.N. Delegate
Acknowledged by many as one of our greatest first ladies, Mrs. Roosevelt worked as a writer while she was first lady, penning books and a daily newspaper column titled "My Day." Following her husband's death, she was appointed by President Truman to serve as an American delegate to the newly created United Nations. She attended the U.N.'s first meeting in London in January 1946 and several months later was named to lead the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.
Jacqueline Kennedy: Book Editor
In the 1980s, more than 20 years after John F. Kennedy's assassination, she became a book editor at Doubleday Books and, among other things, worked as Michael Jackson's book editor. That book, "Moonwalk," reached No 1. on the New York Times best-seller list in 1988.
Pat Nixon: Actress
Mrs. Nixon once worked as a movie extra, which isn't all that surprising considering she grew up in California. While working her way through 'college at UCLA, she had several jobs as a movie extra, appearing in the 1935 film "Becky Sharp" and the 1936 movie "The Great Ziegfeld," which won the Oscar for Best Picture.
Betty Ford: Dancer
Betty Bloomer, as she was named prior to her marriage to Gerald Ford, worked as a dancer--including a performance at Carnegie Hall. While still a high school student, she opened her own dance school in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she taught children and adults the fox trot and other popular dances.
Nancy Reagan: Actress
Nancy Davis, the future wife of President Ronald Reagan, worked as an actress with more than 20 parts on TV shows and movies, including the 1953 horror film "Donovan's Brain." She and Reagan co-starred in the 1957 World War II submarine drama "Hellcats of the Navy" a few years after they married, and while she was first lady, she played herself on the sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes."
Hillary Clinton: Attorney, Senator, Secretary of State
Prior to becoming first lady in 1992, she worked as an attorney, Watergate investigator and co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, among many other things. After her husband's presidency ended, Mrs. Clinton became a U.S. senator in 2001, marking the first time a former first lady was elected to public office. She later went on to serve as the 67th U.S. secretary of state under President Barack Obama.
Michelle Obama: Attorney
Prior to becoming first lady, Mrs. Obama held several jobs, including working as a high-powered attorney for the Chicago law firm Sidney Austin where she was in charge of the accounts for Barney, the purple dinosaur children's TV show character, and Coors Beer. She later became a vice president at the University of Chicago Hospitals.
See the dress Michelle Obama wore to the G-20 reception in September 2009 that caused Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to leer at her. The photos clearly show his "va-va-va voom" hand gestures. Check out Barack Obama's face! And keep clicking to see the cool, very extended handshake the first lady gave him, obviously trying to keep her distance after his inappropriate comments.