Upstairs at the Roosevelts: Growing Up with Franklin and Eleanor

By Curtis Roosevelt | Go to book overview

12
“Hick,” My Grandmother’s Close Friend

As I have written, Eleanor Roosevelt’s infatuation with Lorena Hickok is well known, though whether Eleanor knew of her friend’s long history of lesbian relationships is unknown. At least, this is what I believe.

The continuing relationship between the two women ended only with Eleanor’s death. The passion had evaporated after the first few months, at least on Eleanor’s part, but the friendship endured. Eleanor continued to see Hick regularly, although as the years went by, less and less. As time passed, it was about my grandmother’s sense of loyalty. But Hick was persistent, and Eleanor always responded.

I’ve already spoken of the ways in which Hick helped her friend Eleanor achieve her expanded role as first lady. Hick was as close to a formal adviser as Eleanor ever had. In fact Hick became such an integral part of the first lady’s life that she resigned from her job as a reporter for the Associated Press. She felt that she could no longer be an objective reporter, and rightly so.

She had also become Eleanor Roosevelt’s closest friend. The letters they exchanged are the best indication of their intimate relation, but, as already noted, Hick had one view of their intimacy and Eleanor quite another. As with all her

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