Political Wives Who Overshadowed Their Husbands
Women who have overshadowed their politician husbands include some of the greatest women in political history as well as some of the most influential people in US history. These politically savvy females rank as some of the best known women in US history, not just because they were married to a famous politician, but because they carved a name for themselves in Washington, D.C., throughout the US, and the world.
The untimely death of Elizabeth Edwards was a reminder that female leaders, politicians, first ladies, and political wives in general lost a great friend and a true beacon of success and charisma in the world of female politicians. Her place on this list of the greats is a testament to the resilience of women and their unique ability to triumph in the face of adversity the way Edwards did.What political wives are just as famous or even more famous than their husbands? Here are some of the greatest political wives in the history of politics who show us all just how much of an impact a powerful spouse can make. Take a moment to vote for the women in politics and the public eye who were more effective and successful than their famous political husbands.
- 1175 VOTESPhoto: Torsade de Pointes / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Eva Peron was the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death from cancer in 1952. She is widely and affectionately remembered throughout history by just her first name, a testament to the impact she made on the collective public consciousness of Argentina and the world. She even received a state funeral, though she wasn't technically a head of state.
During her life, she became popular with pro-Peronist trade unions, often speaking on behalf of labor rights. She also ran the Ministries of Labor and Health, insisting on providing free health care to the country. Peron alos founded the first large scale feminist political party in Argentina: the female Peronist Party.Remembered for her compassion and her dedication to providing the best of health and fair rights to all citizens of Argentina, Evita has always been a major force in Argentinian culture, many years after her death.
- Age: Dec. at 33 (1919-1952)
- Birthplace: Los Toldos, Argentina
- 2174 VOTESPhoto: Alexander Bassano / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
Her Majesty, Queen Victoria ruled the British Empire when it was at its height of its powers, and even has an entire era named after her. For 63 years (1837-1901), the longest ruling British monarch of all time time, Victoria commanded an empire so large that at all times, the sun was up somewhere over its lands. Extremely popular with the people, she became the symbol of the British Empire and the standard of strict morality and decency.She also was fair when it came to politics. Proving that she wasn't a tyrannical Queen, she founded the Liberal and Conservative parties and broadened suffrage throughout her reign. Her reign is known as a being a period of peace, despite massive expansion of the empire. She is also associated with industrial and cultural progress. There isn't much from the 19th century that can't be defined by Her Majesty.
- 3175 VOTESPhoto: David Hume Kennerly / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
Betty Ford was the First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977, when her husband, Gerald Ford, was President. During that relatively brief time, she made her stamp on American politics. One of the most influential feminists of her day, Ford was a staunch advocate of abortion rights, the Equal Protection Amendment and equal pay for women. She also helped to raise awareness about breast cancer, a disease she herself had.But Ford is best remembered today for her career after her time in the White House. After being treated for her own alcohol and drug addiction, she founded the Betty Ford Center - probably the world's most famous rehabilitation clinic - in Rancho Mirage, California.
- Age: Dec. at 93 (1918-2011)
- Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
- 4184 VOTESPhoto: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
As the saying goes, "Behind every great man is a great woman."
Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt definitely fit the bill. In fact, some may argue that Eleanor Roosevelt is actually a greater woman for seeing him through everything, as well as accomplishing everything she did. Even long after the death of her husband, Eleanor Roosevelt continued to work in politics, even being appointed a delegate to the General Assembly in 1945 by President Harry S. Truman.She championed many civil rights, working to enhance the status of working women and overseeing the committee that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She was also very vocal in her support of the African-American civil rights movement. Eleanor received 48 honorary degrees throughout her life and at news of her death on November 7, 1962, UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson said, "The United States, the United Nations, the world, has lost one of its great citizens. Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt is dead, and a cherished friend of all mankind is gone."
- Age: Dec. at 78 (1884-1962)
- Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
- 5257 VOTESPhoto: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0
If there's anything that describes Hillary Clinton, it that she's got grit, strength, and determination. After her husband, Bill Clinton, completed his run as the 42nd President of the United States, Hillary set out with an agenda of her own. And wished to prove that she could do it better than Bill himself.In fact, after being elected as a U.S. Senator in 2000, and re-elected in 2006, Hillary went for the big leagues and set out to run in the 2008 presidential race. Even Bill admitted that she would be a better president than he was because: "I think she wouldn't make as many mistakes. She is far more experienced now in all the relevant ways than I was when I took office." Hillary was a second-term U.S. senator serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee, a staff attorney for the Children's Defense Fund, served on the board of directors of the Legal Services Corporation, and co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. She also served as the 67th Secretary of State during Barack Obama's first term, making her the first former First Lady to serve in a president's cabinet.
- Age: 75
- Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
- 6133 VOTESPhoto: Josh Hallett / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0
To say Elizabeth Edwards has had a tumultuous couple of years preceding her death is an understatement. Her quiet, yet firm, submission to cancer is remarkable considering the other personal dramas going on in her life, including husband and presidential hopeful John Edward's infidelity. As well, in 1996, her first born son, Wade Edwards, was killed in a car accident at the age of 16.
Edwards then created the Wade Edwards Foundation which focuses on the academic and overall excellence of young people. In 2004, she went on the campaign trail with John Edwards and his running mate Senator John Kerry and was diagnosed with invasive ductal cancer the same day Edwards and Kerry conceded the presidential race to George W. Bush. Not until Edwards finished stumping for her husband, did she see a specialist.In 2007, believed to be in remission, Elizabeth once again stood by her husband's side as he started his campaign as a presidential candidate, despite a return of her cancer, and news breaking of her husband's affair. Her inspiring view of life in spite of hardships makes Elizabeth Edwards shine much brighter than her husband.
- Age: Dec. at 61 (1949-2010)
- Birthplace: Jacksonville, Florida, United States of America