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White House / Valentine's Day

Presidential Love Letters—PICTURES

photo of Barrett Holmes  Pitner
February 14, 2012

Unbeknownst to many Americans, numerous presidents have been quite the romantics, and writing love letters to their respective first ladies remains a popular way to show their affection and appreciation for the special people in their lives.

President Reagan frequently wrote love letters to his wife, Nancy. Reagan wrote this on their 31st anniversary: “Still this is the day, the day that marks 31 years of such happiness as comes to few men. I told you once that it was like an adolescent’s dream of what marriage should be like. That hasn’t changed.... I more than love you, I’m not whole without you. You are life itself to me. When you are gone I’m waiting for you to return so I can start living again.”(SCOTT STEWART/AP)

“I suppose that I am too crazy about you anyway. Every time I see you I get more so if it is possible. I know I haven’t any right to but there are certain things that can’t be helped and that is one of them. I wouldn’t help it if I could you know,” wrote President Truman. Truman is pictured with his wife, Elizabth "Bess" Wallace, on their wedding day.(Truman Family/AP)

President Wilson wrote numerous love letters before and during his marriage to his first wife, Ellen Louise Axeson, but when she died during his second year in the White House, he was left devastated. One day riding around Washington, he saw Edith Bolling Galt and fell madly in love. An excerpt from a love letter to the future Mrs. Wilson: “You are more wonderful and lovely in my eyes than you ever were before; and my pride and joy and gratitude that you should love me with such a perfect love are beyond all expression, except in some great poem which I cannot write.”(AP)


President George H.W. Bush wrote to his wife: “Will you marry me? Whoops. I forgot you did that 49 years ago today. I was very happy on that day in 1945, but I’m even happier today. You give me joy that few men know. I’ve climbed perhaps the highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara’s husband.”(ROBERT F. BUKATY/AP)

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