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10 First Ladies’ Careers Before And After Living In The White House

We hear a lot about what First Ladies do when they live in the White House, but what did they do before they moved in and what do they do after? Below, a selection of the last 10 First Ladies’ occupations, which include a lot of volunteering and creating foundations.

Jacqueline Kennedy
Before: “Inquiring Camera Girl” for the Washington Times-Herald
After: Editor at Viking Press and Doubleday; worked to create the John F. Kennedy Library; led a public information campaign to save New York’s Grand Central StationClaudia “Lady Bird” Johnson
Before: Chairman of KLBJ radio station
After: Author of White House Diary; founded the National Wildflower Research Center; member of the National Park Service’s Advisory Board on National Parks, History Sites, Buildings, and Monuments; trustee of the American Conservation Association and the National Geographic Society; co-chairman of the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration’s Advisory Council

Patricia “Pat” Nixon
Before: High school teacher
After: Layed low

Elizabeth “Betty” Ford
Before: Dancer in Martha Graham’s concert group; fashion model; dance instructor
After: Created the Betty Ford Treatment Center

Rosalynn Carter
Before: Wife; mother; member of the Governor’s Commission to Improve Services to the Mentally and Emotionally Handicapped; honorary chairperson of the Georgia Special Olympics
After: Author of several books, including First Lady From Plains; co-founder of The Carter Center; host of the Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy;

Nancy Reagan
Before: Marshall Fields sales clerk; nurse’s aide; Broadway and film actress (The Next Voice Your Hear and East Side, West Side, Hellcats of the Navy)
After: Author of My Turn; founder of the Nancy Reagan After School Program; created and funded the Ronald & Nancy Reagan Research Institution for research into Alzheimer’s disease; advocate for stem cell research

Barbara Bush
Before: Sunday school teacher and community volunteer; literacy advocate
After: AmeriCares Ambassador-at-Large; Mayo Clinic Foundation board member; head of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy; author of C. Fred’s Story, Millie’s Book, Barbara Bush: A Memoir, and Reflections

Hillary Clinton
Before: Staff attorney for the Children’s Defense Fund; presidential impeachment inquiry staff member (advised the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives during Watergate); faculty member at the University of Arkansas Law School; parter at the Rose Law Firm
After: United States Senator

Laura Bush
Before: Second grade teacher; school librarian
After: TBD

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