Could Ivanka Trump become the First Lady rather than First Daughter? It’s not without historical precedent.
The Hill reports that Ivanka will have the East Wing office normally reserved for the First Lady. Maybe that’s because President-elect Donald Trump’s wife Melania plans to spend more of her time in New York with the couple’s son Baron.
Still, First Ladies do have duties as White House hostess among others and should Melania be absent Ivanka could perform them. It’s unlikely Trump would officially name his daughter as First Lady, but there have been instances where daughters did so because their mothers were too sick or had died. Melania Trump is the step mother of Ivanka Trump, who reportedly has been house hunting in Georgetown with her husband Jared Kushner.
Seven First Ladies were not married to the president. They include three daughters, two daughters-in-law and two nieces.
Andrew Jackson used two relatives over two terms after his wife died suddenly before the former could take office. His niece Emily Jackson served as First Lady during the first term and daughter-in-law Sara Taylor served the second.
Thomas Jefferson, a widower, named daughter “Patsy” as his First Lady. He also asked Dolley Madison, wife of future president James Madison, to host events.
John Tyler had daughter Priscilla Tyler serve because his wife Letitia was too ill to attend functions before dying while Tyler was midway through his term. Tyler later married Julia Gardiner while in office.
Martin Van Buren, a widower, used daughter-in-law Angelica Van Buren. James Buchanan named niece Harriett Lane. Zachary Taylor named his niece Betty Bliss.
Benjamin Harrison’s daughter Mary Scott Harrison McKee briefly served as White House hostess following her mother’s death, but wasn’t named a First Lady. James Garfield asked his sister Mary McElroy to host some events before his assassination.
Only Sarah Taylor, 31, was older than 28. Emily Jackson and Angelica Van Buren were both 21 as was Grover Cleveland’s wife Frances.