Betty Steele
Fictional Character
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Novel only
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 19th century
Spouse: Joe Steele
Children: Two deceased sons
Political Party: Democratic Party
Political Office(s): First Lady of the United States

Betty Steele was the wife of President Joe Steele, and the longest serving First Lady of the United States, holding the position from March 4, 1933 until her husband's death on March 5, 1953. She was also the last First Lady; her husband's immediate successor, John Nance Garner, was a widower, and Garner's de facto successor, J. Edgar Hoover, was a bachelor.

Betty met Joe Steele in Fresno. He was a lawyer and a city councilman.[1]. The couple had two children, but lost both to diphtheria within days of each other. Steele threw himself into his work, eventually becoming a Congressman. Betty, however, was left adrift, becoming a fairly withdrawn person.[2]

Like her husband, Betty eschewed trappings of wealth and importance. At her husband's first inauguration on March 4, 1933, for example, her husband wore a simple suit and cloth cap, while she wore a dress that any women of modest means could have purchased from a Montgomery Wards catalog.[3]

Betty was largely an invisible First Lady.[4] When Steele died in 1953, after being elected to a record six terms, she returned to Fresno. No one paid any more attention to her in retirement.[5]

See Also[]


  1. Joe Steele, pg. 46.
  2. Ibid., pg. 42.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid. pg. 228.
  5. Ibid. pg. 423.
Political offices
(Joe Steele)
Preceded by
Lou Henry Hoover
First Lady of the United States
Succeeded by
Office vacant