Lenore LaFount Romney Papers

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Lenore LaFount Romney Papers

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger Lenore LaFount Romney Papers collection held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Civic leader, wife of Michigan governor, George Romney, and Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1970. Correspondence, political background files, speeches, and miscellanea largely concerning election of 1970; and campaign and speech files covering gubernatorial career of George Romney.

Lenore LaFount Romney was born in 1909 in Ogden, Utah. In 1931, she married George Wilcken Romney, who was later to become President of American Motors, Governor of Michigan and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. A well-respected and admired politician and public figure in her own right, Lenore Romney took an active role in state politics as Michigan's first lady. Both then, and later as wife of a cabinet secretary, she traveled widely, speaking on issues such as poverty, volunteerism, women's rights and the Vietnam War. She announced her candidacy for United States Senator from Michigan in 1969, running against Democratic incumbent Phil Hart. Romney was hampered in her campaign by her unpopular positions--she supported Nixon's stand on the Vietnam War--and her lack of a concrete platform--long on moral positions but short on specifics. At a time when there was just one woman in the U.S. Senate, her being in the race at all raised many eyebrows, especially given her husband's own political career. Many thought that she should let Mr. Romney wear the political hat in the family. Although her moral courage was widely admired, she was soundly defeated in November 1970. After the election, she continued to live in the public eye, speaking out on issues of concern to her, including volunteerism, women's rights, abortion, and the inverse relationship between morality and crime.

Please note:

Copyright has been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.

Access to digitized sound recordings may be limited to the reading room of the Bentley Historical Library, located on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan.

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