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Harriman, Daisy (21 July 1870–31 August 1967), political activist and diplomat, was born Florence Jaffray Hurst in New York City, the daughter of Francis William Jones Hurst, the head of a steamship company, and Caroline Elise Jaffray. Daisy, as she was always called, was three years old when her mother died. She grew up in the home of her grandfather Edward S. Jaffray, whose connections to British and American politicians inaugurated Daisy’s political education. Her formal education was private and scanty. She married Jefferson Borden Harriman, a New York banker, in 1889; they had one daughter....

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Harriman, Pamela (20 March 1920–05 February 1997), ambassador, socialite, and political fundraiser, was born Pamela Beryl Digby in Farnborough, England, the daughter of Edward Kenelm “Kenny” Digby, the eleventh Baron Digby and an officer in the Coldstream Guards, and Constance Pamela Alice “Pansy” Bruce Digby. A few months after Pamela was born she moved with her family to Australia, where Baron Digby had accepted a position as military secretary to the governor general. She spent the first three years of her life there, returning in 1923 to England, where the family settled into the quiet life of lesser British aristocracy at “Minterne Magna,” a 1,500-acre estate in the English countryside. Educated primarily in the arts and foreign languages, Pamela lived a relatively isolated existence, riding and hunting on the Minterne grounds, until 1935, when she spent a year in boarding school at Hertfordshire. She then lived for several months with a family in Paris for her “finishing,” which for the most part ended her formal education....

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Eleanor Roosevelt Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-25812 DLC).

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Roosevelt, Eleanor (11 October 1884–07 November 1962), first lady of the United States, social reformer, politician, diplomat, was born Anna Eleanor Roosevelt in New York City, the daughter of Elliott Roosevelt and Anna Hall. Her childhood was materially comfortable—both sides of her family were wealthy and prominent in New York society—but it was also emotionally arid. Her mother, beautiful but distant and so disappointed in the looks of her daughter that she called her “granny,” died when Eleanor was eight. Her youngest brother died the following year. She clung to her father, the younger brother of ...