U.S. First Ladies That Are Probably Smarter Than Their Husbands

Over 2.7K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of U.S. First Ladies That Are Probably Smarter Than Their Husbands
Voting Rules
Vote up the First Ladies you strongly suspect were smarter than the commanders in chief.

When they say behind every great man lies a great woman, it comes as no stretch to assume the smartest First Ladies of the United States outranked their husbands in terms of intelligence. Though they may not lead the country, the First Lady involves herself in politics, human welfare, and numerous other roles that require her intelligence as much as her poise. As the other half of the president, it stands to reason she too influences his decisions. With that in mind, which First Lady was the smartest? 

As First Lady of the United States, the President's wife constantly finds herself under public scrutiny. Although no official roles exist for First Ladies, many of the smartest First Ladies stepped up to take on all sorts of responsibilities including helping with political campaigns, managing the White House, and leading social causes. Some notable First Ladies include Hillary Clinton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama, and Jacqueline Kennedy. Some First Ladies even launched their own political careers, lending more credence to the idea that the smart wives of presidents may not outrank them in security clearance, but they definitely do in brains.

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Ranked by
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
    Dec. at 78 (1884-1962)
    1,054 votes
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (; October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962) was an American political figure, diplomat and activist. She served as the First Lady of the United States from March 4, 1933 to April ...more
  • Laura Bush
    Age: 76
    1,002 votes
    • Birthplace: Midland, Texas, United States of America
    Laura Welch Bush (née Laura Lane Welch; born November 4, 1946) is an American educator who was First Lady of the United States during the presidency of her husband, George W. Bush, from 2001 to 2009. ...more
  • Abigail Adams
    Dec. at 73 (1744-1818)
    559 votes
    • Birthplace: Weymouth, Massachusetts, United States of America
    Abigail Adams (née Smith; November 22, [O.S. November 11] 1744 – October 28, 1818) was the wife and closest advisor of John Adams, as well as the mother of John Quincy Adams. She is sometimes ...more
  • Dolley Madison
    Dec. at 81 (1768-1849)
    553 votes
    • Birthplace: Greensboro, North Carolina, United States of America
    Dolley Todd Madison (née Payne; May 20, 1768 – July 12, 1849) was the wife of James Madison, President of the United States from 1809 to 1817. She was noted for holding Washington social functions in ...more
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
    Dec. at 64 (1929-1994)
    892 votes
    • Birthplace: Southampton, Contiguous United States, New York, Suffolk County, United States of America
    Jacqueline Lee Kennedy Onassis (née Bouvier ; July 28, 1929 – May 19, 1994) was First Lady of the United States during the presidency of John F. Kennedy and was regarded then and afterward as an ...more
  • Barbara Bush
    711 votes
    • Birthplace: Flushing, New York City, New York, United States of America
    Barbara Pierce Bush (born Barbara Pierce; June 8, 1925 – April 17, 2018) was the first lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993 as the wife of George H. W. Bush, who served as the 41st president ...more