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Graphic shows profiles of selected notable first ladies.
GN40927EN

POLITICS

Jill Biden reshapes role of First Lady

By Jordi Bou

January 20, 2021 - Jill Biden will make history as the first First Lady to hold a job while in the White House. Dr. Biden, who holds two master’s degrees and a doctorate in education, plans to keep teaching English at a community college in Virginia.

First ladies have often been expected to sacrifice their careers to perform ceremonial tasks.

But Biden announced from the get-go that she would continue her career as a community college professor, regardless of whether her husband was elected president. She had already broken the mould by maintaining her career while he was vice president.

Between 1993 and 2017, all of the first ladies had advanced degrees. Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton are lawyers, and Laura Bush has a master’s in library science. But none of them maintained a career while in the White House.

Jill Biden’s decision to do so will push the role of first lady into the 21st century by keeping her full-time job as a professor.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 06/01/2021; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Associated Press, Getty Images, Newscom
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