General World News

Behind the Scenes, America’s First Ladies Exert Powerful Influence

Jacqueline Kennedy poses during a tour of the White House East Room in Washington in 1962.

America’s latest first lady is breaking with tradition as the first presidential spouse to keep her job while in the White House.  

Jill Biden, who has a doctorate in education, is an English professor at a community college near Washington.  

“I think in particular, the fact that she is in a profession that is seen as a helping profession, that is seen as not innately a controversial profession, that she will be more accepted by the American people in continuing her professional life,” says Katherine Jellison, a professor of history at Ohio University. “Also, she’s in a traditionally female profession — teaching.”  

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