Today’s birthday girl is Lorena Hickok March 7, 1893 – May 1, 1968 known as ‘Hick’.
Hick was a journalist, working in the 1920s on the Minneapolis Tribune when she met and lived with fellow reporter Ella Morse for six years.
The combination of Hick’s diabetes and Ella’s elopement with an ex-boyfriend lead to Hick’s move to New York and in 1928 a job with Associated Press where she was assigned some high-profile work at The New York Times for which she wrote under her own byline, the first woman to do so at that paper.
Following her being assigned to cover F D Roosevelt’s 1932 presidential election campaign, Hick became friends with his wife, Eleanor, travelled together, writing daily when apart, and made no bones of how they felt about each other. Not long into FDR’s first administration Hick left journalism, partly because she could not be unbiased, partly because it kept her apart from Eleanor. She landed a job for the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, but by 1937 Eleanor was withdrawing from the relationship.
Hick was very hurt, and again changed job, although she ended up living first at the White House. During this time she struck up an intimate friendship with female judge Marion Janet Harron. Hick and Eleanor continued to correspond and meet, and Hick subsequently moved to live near Hyde Park, the Roosevelt’s country retreat as her health declined. Around 3000 intimate, loving letters between Eleanor and Hick are now deposited in the US National Archives.
Ah, how good it was to hear your voice. It was so inadequate to try and tell you what it meant. Funny was that I couldn’t say je t’aime and je t’adore as I longed to do, but always remember that I am saying it, that I go to sleep thinking of you.
Eleanor to Hick
Dear, I’ve been trying today to bring back your face…Most clearly I remember your eyes and the feeling of that soft spot just northeast of the corner of your mouth against my lips.
Hick to Eleanor