Michelle Obama
Image: via The State

As the old adage goes, behind every great man, there’s a great woman – and few have proved that more than the First Ladies of the United States. Indeed, although some opted to stay quietly in the shadow of their Presidential husbands, the majority have used their position to advocate for the greater good. Here’s a look at 20 of the most influential.

Ellen Wilson
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20. Ellen Wilson

Ellen Wilson would no doubt have been much higher up this list had her role as First Lady not been tragically terminated. Indeed, the former art student’s fight to better the lives of Washington’s impoverished population was sadly curtailed due to her early death. Her passing came just one year after husband Woodrow was elected as President in 1913.

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Lucy Hayes
Image: Kean Collection/Getty Images

19. Lucy Hayes

Nicknamed “Lemonade Lucy” due to her advocacy of the alcohol-free temperance movement, Lucy Hayes became First Lady when husband Rutherford B. Hayes was elected into office in 1877. She also served as the head of the Woman’s Home Missionary Society and promoted the importance of the family unit.

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