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 • Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
 • Independence
 • Jackson County
 • Missouri
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Bess Truman
Original name: Elizabeth Virginia Wallace
Birth: Feb. 13, 1885
Independence
Jackson County
Missouri, USA
Death: Oct. 18, 1982
Independence
Jackson County
Missouri, USA

First Lady, wife of the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S Truman. She was born in Independence, Missouri the eldest child and only daughter of David Willock and Madge (Gates) Wallace. She developed the reputation as a tomboy. "The first girl I ever knew who could whistle through her teeth." said a classmate. After her father's death in 1903 she moved with her mother and four brothers into the home of her maternal grandfather, George Porterfield Gates. Married on June 28, 1919, their only child Mary Margaret born on February 17, 1924, the family moved to Washington in 1934. When Mr. Truman became President on April 12, 1945, after serving only eighty-two days as Vice President, Mrs. Truman became the country's First Lady. Considered one of the hardest-working of the White House hostesses, she did what was required of her even when it did not please her. A reporter once asked her what she wanted to do when her husband was no longer President, and her response was "Return to Independence." At 97 when she died in her home, the home of her maternal grandfather, she was the longest living First Lady to date. Perhaps what tells us the most about the character of Bess Wallace Truman was published in McCall's magazine (April 1949). The magazine quoted Jonathan Daniels, former Press Secretary to President Roosevelt, as saying "Bess Truman is a lady unchanged by the White House and determined to remain always what she is." (bio by: D C McJonathan-Swarm) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  David Willock Wallace (1860 - 1903)
  Margaret Elizabeth Gates Wallace (1862 - 1952)
 
 Spouse:
  Harry S Truman (1884 - 1972)*
 
 Children:
  Margaret Truman (1924 - 2008)*
 
 Siblings:
  Bess Truman (1885 - 1982)
  Frank Gates Wallace (1887 - 1960)*
  George P. Wallace (1892 - 1963)*
  David Frederick Wallace (1900 - 1957)*
 
*Calculated relationship

Cause of death: Congestive heart failure
 
Burial:
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
Independence
Jackson County
Missouri, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 21, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 19671
Bess Truman
Added by: ronald deavy (Inactive)
 
Bess Truman
Added by: Jeffrey A. Mack
 
Bess Truman
Added by: Mike Reed
 
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- L Hamilton
 Added: Dec. 2, 2014

- Suzie Nash
 Added: Oct. 23, 2014

- Lazer
 Added: Oct. 19, 2014
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