Jane Hadley Barkley

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Jane Hadley Barkley
Wife of the Vice President of the United States
In office
November 18, 1949 – January 20, 1953
Preceded by Bess Truman
Succeeded by Pat Nixon
Personal details
Born Elizabeth Jane Rucker
(1911-09-23)September 23, 1911
Keytesville, Missouri, U.S.
Died September 6, 1964(1964-09-06) (aged 52)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Carleton Hadley (1931-1944, his death; 2 children)
Alben W. Barkley (1949-1956, his death)

Elizabeth Jane Rucker Hadley Barkley (September 23, 1911 – September 6, 1964, known as Jane Hadley Barkley) was Second Lady of the United States. She was the second wife of Vice President Alben W. Barkley.

Early life[change | change source]

Barkley was born in Keytesville, Missouri. Her father was a lawyer. Her mother was a pianist who had studied in Europe. She married her first husband, Carleton Hadley, in 1931. She met him at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He became a prominent railroad attorney. They had two daughters. He died in 1944 at the age of 42.

Marriage to Alben Barkley[change | change source]

She married Vice President Alben Barkley, a widower, on November 18, 1949. She was his second wife, and he was her second husband.[1][2] He was 71 and she was 37. Barkley's first wife Dorothy had died in 1947. Until her courtship with Barkley, Jane Rucker Hadley had been a devoted Republican. In 1940, Mrs. Hadley was working in the St. Louis office of Grand Old Party presidential nominee Wendell Willkie. When her milkman said his favorite president was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, she left a note saying, "No Willkie, no milkie".

Jane Barkley (far left), next to Alben Barkley

Death[change | change source]

After Barkley's death, Jane Barkley started work as a secretary at George Washington University. Mrs. Barkley published a memoir in 1958 with Vanguard publishers of New York. It was called I Married the Veep. When she died in 1964 from a heart attack, she was still working at the university.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. "The Merry Widower", Time, August 22, 1949
  2. "The Veep Yields", Time, November 7, 1949
  3. "Milestones", Time, September 18, 1964