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Former First Lady Edith Wilson is Dead

Dec. 29, 1961 - Mrs. Edith Wilson (pictured in 1915), the former First Lady, died last night at the stately Washington townhouse that became her home when she and the World War I President left the White House more than 40 years ago. She was 89 years old. Mrs. Wilson, who had no children, married the President when he was serving his first term. She shared many of Wilson’s political and wartime trials and finally, acting as intermediary between him and his associates during his serious illness, was accused of assuming the role of President of the United States. During that crucial six-and-one-half-month period while Wilson lay ill and out of direct touch with his associates, she sifted the matters to be brought before him, summarized them, and carried his decisions to his Cabinet. Until her final illness, Mrs. Wilson took part in the capital’s social and political life. She supported John F. Kennedy for President and visited the White House twice in recent months. Mrs. Wilson died on the 105th anniversary of her husband’s birth. Mr. Wilson’s first wife died in 1914.

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