GRACE COOLIDGE Biography - Socialites, celebrities and People in the fashion industry


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Name: Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge                                                   
Born: 3 January 1879                                                                 
Died: 8 July 1957                                                                   
Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge (January 3, 1879 – July 8, 1957) was wife of Calvin   
Coolidge and First Lady of the United States from 1923 to 1929.                     
Grace Anna Goodhue grew up in the city of Burlington, Vermont, the only child of     
Andrew and Lemira B. Goodhue. While still a girl she heard of a school for deaf     
children in Northampton, Massachusetts, and eventually decided to share its         
challenging work. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 1902 where she     
was a charter member of the Vermont Beta chapter of Pi Beta Phi Women's             
Fraternity. She went to teach at the Clarke School for the Deaf after graduation.   
In Northampton she met Calvin Coolidge; where they belonged to the same boating,     
picnicking, whist-club set, composed largely of members of the local                 
Congregational Church. In October 1905 they were married at her parents' home.       
They lived modestly; they moved into half of a duplex two weeks before their         
first son John Coolidge was born, and she budgeted expenses well within the         
income of a struggling small-town lawyer.                                           
To Grace Coolidge may be credited a full share in her husband's rise in politics.   
She worked hard, kept up appearances, took her part in town activities, attended     
her church, and offset his shyness with a gay friendliness. She bore a second       
son, named Calvin Jr. in 1908, and it was she who played backyard baseball with     
the boys. As Coolidge was rising to the office of governor, the family kept the     
duplex; he rented a dollar-and-a-half room in Boston and came home on weekends.     
In 1921, as wife of the Vice President, Grace Coolidge went from her housewife's     
routine into Washington society and quickly became the most popular woman in the     
After Harding's death and Calvin Coolidge's succession to the Presidency, she       
planned the new administration's social life as her husband wanted it:               
unpretentious but dignified. As she wrote later, she was "I, and yet, not I--this   
was the wife of the President of the United States and she took precedence over     
me...." Under the sorrow of her younger son's sudden death at 16 (after he was       
playing tennis with his brother John on the White House Grounds, got a blister       
which became infected), she never let grief interfere with her duties as First       
Lady. Tact and gaiety made her one of the most popular hostesses of the White       
House, and she left Washington in 1929 with the country's respect and love. She     
received a gold medal from the National Institute of Social Science. In 1931 she     
was voted one of America's twelve greatest living women.                             
For greater privacy in Northampton, the Coolidges bought "The Beeches," a large     
house with spacious grounds. Calvin Coolidge died there in 1933. He had summed       
up their marriage in his Autobiography: "For almost a quarter of a century she       
was borne with my infirmities, and I have rejoiced in her graces." After his         
death she sold The Beeches, bought a smaller house, and in time undertook new       
ventures she had longed to try: her first airplane ride, her first trip to           
Europe. She kept her aversion to publicity and her sense of fun until her death     
in 1957 at the age of 78. Her chief activity as she grew older was serving as a     
trustee of the Clarke School.