Is Betty Ford’s Friend Nancy Howe Based on a Real Person?


‘The First Lady’ dramatizes the tales of three first ladies of the United States and the years primary as a lot as their time throughout the White House. The narrative follows Michelle Obama (Viola Davis), Betty Ford (Michelle Pfeiffer), and Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson) through their challenges and victories as they carve their non-public legacies and refuse to be overshadowed by their husbands.

Betty Ford’s entry into the White House amidst the tumultuous resignation of Richard Nixon is particularly troublesome. As she is pressured to evolve to the traditional place of the first woman, Betty finds an stunning supporter and companion throughout the White House named Nancy Howe. Considering a lot of the characters in ‘The First Lady’ are primarily based on precise people, we decided to see what we would uncover on Nancy Howe.

Is Betty Ford’s Friend Nancy Howe Based on a Real Person?

Yes, the character of Nancy Howe, essayed by Judy Greer, depends on an precise explicit particular person. The precise Nancy Howe was a non-public assistant to Betty Ford from sooner than the latter grew to grow to be the first woman and the two had been described as inseparable. Nancy was moreover credited with supporting Betty all through her wrestle with breast most cancers and serving to dodge the archaic White House traditions that Betty was anticipated to adjust to as the first woman.

Born Nancy McDonald in 1930 in Lynchburg, Virginia, she began working for Betty Ford whereas Gerald Ford was nonetheless vp. After he grew to grow to be president, between 1974 and 1975, Nancy was the non-public assistant to Betty Ford. As seen on the current, Nancy was typically described as the first woman’s “special assistant.” Out of the virtually 30 East Wing staff members accountable for supporting the First Lady on the time, she was the closest to Betty Ford.

In April 1975, Nancy’s husband James W. Howe died of a gunshot wound that authorities revealed was self-inflicted. This was following an investigation into a go to to the Dominican Republic by the Howes the place that they had been hosted by a South Korean businessman named Tongsun Park. This raised many questions along with ethical and battle of curiosity issues.

Before his demise, James had taken full accountability for the journey and pleaded that his partner not be blamed for any indiscretion. At the time of his demise, James and Nancy Howe moreover had a 22-year-old daughter named Lise Courtney. In the aftermath of the tragedy, the Ford presidential family launched public condolences to Nancy and her family. At the time, she was nonetheless employed as Betty’s non-public assistant. Soon afterward, in May 1975, Nancy left her job on the White House and stopped working for Betty Ford. According to info, she was modified by Nancy C. Chirdon.

How Did Betty Ford Meet Nancy Howe?

Before she began working for Betty Ford, Nancy labored for the White House Historical Association and was the highest of guidebook product sales. This is form of shut to what’s depicted throughout the sequence, the place Nancy seems to be working throughout the White House current retailer. It seems that Betty and Nancy attainable met throughout the time that the latter labored with the White House Historical Association. Soon after Gerald Ford was nominated for vp, Betty Ford employed Nancy. According to some experiences, Nancy had actually started serving to Betty Ford even sooner than she was employed and had been working for the latter for a variety of weeks.


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