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Luce, Clare Boothe (10 April 1903–09 October 1987), writer and political figure, was born Ann Clare Boothe in New York City, the daughter of William F. Boothe, a businessman and pit-orchestra violinist, and Ann Clare Snyder, a former dancer. She spent her childhood in Chicago and Memphis and also lived for a year in France with her mother after her parents separated. She attended several private schools, including St. Mary’s in Garden City, Long Island, from 1915 to 1917, and then Miss Mason’s School in Tarrytown, New York, from which she graduated in 1919. As a child, Clare Boothe had briefly been an understudy to ...

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Roosevelt, Alice Hathaway Lee (29 July 1861–14 February 1884), first wife of Theodore Roosevelt, first wife of Theodore Roosevelt, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of George Cabot Lee, a banker, and Caroline Haskel. One of Boston’s first families, the Lees had fled the encroachment of immigrants to the inner city for the fashionable suburb of Chestnut Hill while keeping their Beacon Street home for winter use. At seventeen, when she met her future husband, Alice was described as tall, athletic, a champion tennis player, graceful, with “golden curls,” “dove-gray eyes,” a piquant, slightly turned-up nose, and such a cheerful disposition that she was nicknamed “Sunshine.”...

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Tocqueville, Alexis de (29 July 1805–16 April 1859), French political theorist, historian, and statesman, was born Alexis-Charles-Henri-Maurice Clérel de Tocqueville in Paris, the son of Hervé-Louis-François-Jean Bonaventure Clérel and Louise-Madeleine Le Peletier Rosanbo, from an aristocratic and politically active Norman family. Tocqueville’s father became a prefect with the restored Bourbon government after the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte. Charles X made him a peer of France in 1827. His family furnished the requisite background for Tocqueville’s own government service. Having studied law, Tocqueville became an assistant magistrate....

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Van Buren, Hannah Hoes (08 March 1783–05 February 1819), wife of Martin Van Buren, eighth president of the United States, wife of Martin Van Buren, eighth president of the United States, was born in Kinderhook, New York, the daughter of John Dircksen Hoes and Maria Quackenboss. She grew up in Kinderhook, a close-knit farming community populated by a small number of related Dutch families, the Hoes and Van Burens being prominent among them. She regularly attended the Dutch Reformed church; Martin Van Buren’s parents had served as her sponsors in baptism. She, like Martin Van Buren, her first cousin once removed, was educated at the village school, where classes for girls stressed the traditional disciplines interspersed with moral and religious teachings....