Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge

Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge

Born: January 3, 1879 at Burlington, Vermont
Died: July 8, 1957 (aged 78) at Northampton, Massachusetts
Spouse: Calvin Coolidge (m. 1905 – 1933)
Children: John Coolidge, Calvin Coolidge

Offices held: 
Second Lady of the United States (1921 – 1923)
First Lady of the United States (1923 – 1929)
Political Party: Republican

Facts about Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge

While still a girl she heard of a school for deaf children in Northampton, Massachusetts, and eventually decided to share its challenging work. She was the main reason and is given full credit for her husband’s rise in politics. In 1921, as wife of the Vice President, Grace Coolidge went from her housewife’s routine into Washington society and quickly became the most popular woman in the capital.

For her “”fine personal influence exerted as First Lady of the Land,”” Grace Coolidge received a gold medal from the National Institute of Social Sciences. In 1931 she was voted one of America’s twelve greatest living women. Her latter years were spent publishing poems and articles for American Magazine.

Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge Childhood

Grace Anna Goodhue was born on January 3, 1879, in Burlington, Vermont, the only child of Andrew Issaclar Goodhue (1848-1923) and Lemira Barrett Goodie (1849-1929). She is of English ancestry. Her father, a deacon, and served as the steamboat inspector for the Lake Champlain Transportation Company, appointed to the position in 1887 by President Grover Cleveland. Her mother was a housewife, who taught her many domestic skills, including knitting, cooking, cleaning, and gardening.

She began her education at age five at a local public grade school in Burlington, and attended Burlington Public Middle School. It was during this time that she took an interest in music and took private piano lessons. In 1893, she entered Burlington High School. There she studied Latin and French, as well as geology, biology, and chemistry.

She also took a private course on elocution. She enrolled in 1898 at the University of Vermont, where she founded the Vermont chapter of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, acted in productions of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night, and joined the college’s glee club. She would become the first First Lady to have earned a four-year undergraduate degree. From 1902 to 1904, inspired by a childhood friend who had pursued a career teaching deaf children, she studied lip reading at Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech and became a teacher there. The training of deaf children remained her lifelong passion.

Grace dated several young men during college. One relationship, that with Frank Joyner, was serious enough that marriage seemed inevitable. She ended the relationship in 1903 when she met a young rising attorney, Calvin Coolidge.

Where is Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge buried?

She is buried next to her husband in Plymouth, Vermont.

How did Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge die?

She died by natural cause in Northampton on July 8, 1957 at the age of 78.