- Hickok, Lorena Alice (“Hick”)
- (1893-1968)Born in East Troy, Wisconsin, Lorena Hickok had an unhappy childhood and a broken education. She became a reporter in 1913 and worked for a succession of newspapers, including the Milwaukee Sentinel, Minneapolis Tribune, and New York Daily Mirror. In 1932, while covering the election campaign of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hickok met Eleanor Roosevelt, with whom she formed a close long-term, and possibly even sexual, friendship. Among the more than 2,000 letters from the First Lady to Hickok in the library at the Roosevelt’s home in Hyde Park are some that point to a romantic and physical relationship. From 1933 to 1936 Hickok was sent as an investigator for the Federal Emergency Relief Administration to report back to Harry Hopkins on conditions in the country and the public’s response to the “First Hundred Days” of the New Deal. Her reports helped persuade the administration of the need for more relief and led to the creation of the Civil Works Administration. Hickok left the New Deal after Roosevelt’s reelection in 1936 to become a publicist for the New York World’s Fair, but she returned in 1940 and lived in the White House for four years. She joined the Democratic National Committee as executive secretary for the Women’s Division. She resigned in 1945 due to ill-health and became a writer. She wrote books based on her knowledge of politics, including The Story of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1956), The Story of Eleanor Roosevelt (1959), and Reluctant First Lady (1962). During her later years, she lived in a cottage on the Roosevelt estate, where she died.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.