First Lady

First Lady

First Lady is a term used in the United States to describe the wife of an elected male head of state.

In some situations, the title is bestowed upon a non-spouse. Park Geun-hye, former head of the Grand National Party of Korea, has been referred to as the First Lady to South Korean President Park Chung Hee. Although she is President Park's daughter, the title was bestowed upon her after her mother's death. [Geun Hye Park (2007). [ The Republic of Korea and the United States: Our Future Together] (HTML). Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.. Retrieved on 2007-07-19.]


The entire family of sthe head of state may be known familiarly as the "First Family." [cite web||url=|format=HTML|title=First Family - Definitions from|accessdate=2007-07-19|quote=2. The family of the chief executive of a city, state, or country.]

The spouse of the second in command (such as a Vice President) may be known as the "Second Lady," or Vice-First Lady. Less frequently, the family would be known as the "Second Family".

In some monarchies this title is used in reference to the spouse of a male head of government (usually Prime Minister) as it is understood that the "First Lady" of the country is the queen regnant (i.e. the head of state) or queen consort (i.e. the head of state's wife); it might be seen as a slight against the head of state's family for the head of government's wife to use either title — for instance, if the term "Second Lady" were used in the United Kingdom, it would be for "HRH" The Duchess of Cornwall.

The wife of a male Governor of a U.S. state is commonly referred to as the First Lady of that state, for example "First Lady of Ohio."

First Gentleman

Should a female hold the office, the term "First Gentleman" may be the alternative to First Lady, though "First Consort" or some other derivation may be used.

For the reasons outlined in the previous section, if the term "First Gentleman" were to be used in the United Kingdom, it could only be applied to "HRH" The Duke of Edinburgh.

Current U.S. First Gentlemen

*Todd Palin (Alaska), informally known as "First Dude" [cite news | url= | title=A Low-Key Outdoorsman and Family Man Now Faces a National Role | publisher=The New York Times | date=2008-09-02]
*Lou Rell (Connecticut)
*K. Gary Sebelius (Kansas), the original "First Dude" [cite news | url= | title=Call Him 'First Dude' | publisher=The Topeka Capital-Journal | date=2003-1-20]
*Daniel Mulhern (Michigan)
*Mike Gregoire (Washington)

Non-political uses

It has become commonplace for the title of "First Lady" to be bestowed on women, as a term of endearment, who have proven themselves to be of exceptional talent, even if that talent is non-political. For example, the term has been applied in the entertainment field to denote the "First Lady of Song" (Ella Fitzgerald), the "First Lady of American Soul" (Aretha Franklin), [cite news | title=Are you ready to think outside the box? The abuses of the English language that readers hated most have inspired a new Telegraph book, explains Richard Preston | work=Daily Telegraph | first=Richard | last=Preston | date=2007-05-25 | page=24] the "First Lady of the Grand Old Opry" (Loretta Lynn), the "First Lady of the American Stage" (Helen Hayes) [cite news | title=The Year Of Hoping For Magic | work=New York Times | first=Joan | last=Didion | date=2007-03-04 | page=1] , and the "First Lady of Star Trek" (Majel Barrett). [cite news | url= | title=Majel Barrett Roddenberry | publisher=Star | date=1996-11-16]

The term "first lady" is also used to denote a woman who occupies the foremost social position within a particular locality. [Sellers, 294; Russell, 501.]

The spouse of the president of a university or college may also be styled its first lady. In some institutions this use is official, and in some unofficial. In many it is not used.

The term is also used often in the religious setting. The wife of a senior pastor is sometimes called "first lady."

ee also

*First Lady of Paraguay
*First Lady of the Philippines
*First Lady of Malaysia
*First Lady of Mexico
*First Lady of the United States
**List of First Ladies of the United States
*First Lady of Venezuela



*cite journal | title=The City of York in the Sixteenth Century | first=Maud | last=Sellers | journal=The English Historical Review | volume=9 | issue=34 | month=April | year=1894 | pages=275–304 | doi=10.1093/ehr/IX.XXXIV.275
*cite journal | title=Journal of the American Geographical Society of New York | first=A. | last=Russell | volume=21 | year=1889 | pages=494–515

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