How Presidents Met Their First Ladies: 10 True Love Stories to Make You Say ‘Awww’

When Ronnie Met Nancy

Ronald Reagan wrote in his autobiography that he first met Nancy Davis when she came to him for help. He was president of the Screen Actors Guild, and she couldn’t get a job acting in movies because another Nancy Davis’s name had shown up on the Hollywood blacklist of alleged communists. But according to Jon Weiner’s book Professors, Politics, and Pop, SAG records show that Nancy’s blacklist problem occurred in 1953, a year after the Reagans were married. So how did they meet? Reagan biographer Anne Edwards says that in 1949 Nancy, who had just become an MGM contract player, told a friend of Reagan’s that she wanted to meet him. The friend invited the two to a small dinner party, and the rest is history.

When Georgie Met Laura

Joe and Jan O’Neill lived in Midland, Texas, and were childhood friends of Laura Welch. In 1975 another childhood friend, George W. Bush, came back to Midland after being away for a few years. The O’Neills bugged Laura to go out with George, but she didn’t want to. She later said that the O’Neills were only trying to get them together “because we were the only two people from that era in Midland who were still single.” She finally agreed to meet him at a backyard barbecue in 1977, when she was 30 and he was 31. George was smitten; Laura was, too. They were married three months later.

When Barry Met Michelle

In 1989 Michelle Robinson was working at a Chicago law firm when she was assigned to mentor a summer associate from Harvard with a “strange name”: Barack Obama. Not long after, Barack, 27, asked Michelle, 25, on a date. She later admitted that she was reluctant to date one of the few black men at the large firm because it seemed “tacky.” Robinson finally relented, and after dating for several months, she suggested they get married. He wasn’t interested. One night in 1991, during dinner at a Chicago restaurant, she brought it up again. Again, he said no. But when dessert showed up, there was an engagement ring in a box on one of the plates. They were married in 1992.

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