SEP 23, 2017 Dorothy Howell Rodham WIKIPEDIA
Dorothy Emma Rodham (née Howell; June 4, 1919 – November 1, 2011) was an American homemaker and the mother of former First Lady, U.S. Senator, United States Secretary of State, and 2016 Democratic Presidential Nominee, Hillary Clinton.
Dorothy Howell was born in Chicago, the daughter of Edwin John Howell, Jr. (1897–1946), a Chicagofirefighter, and Della Murray (1902–1960). She had a younger sister, Isabelle (born 1924). Her ancestry consisted of Welsh, English, Scottish, French, and distant Dutch heritage; her paternal grandfather was an immigrant from Bedminster, Bristol in England, and many of her recent forebears had lived in Canada.
The children were then sent on a train by themselves, unsupervised (Dorothy was eight years old, Isabelle only three), to live with their paternal grandparents in the Los Angeles suburb of Alhambra, California. The sisters endured harsh and unloving treatment from their grandparents. The grandmother favored black Victorian dress and punished the girls for trifling acts. After Dorothy was caught trick-or-treating one Halloween, an activity the grandparents forbade, she was confined to her room for an entire year except for attending school, and was not even allowed to eat in the kitchen or play in the yard.
Having had enough, Dorothy left home at the young age of fourteen in the depths of theGreat Depression, working as a housekeeper, cook, and nanny for a San Gabriel, Californiafamily, being paid $3 a week. Encouraged by her employer to read and go to school, Dorothy attended Alhambra High School, where she joined several clubs and benefited from two teachers. After graduating from Alhambra in 1937, she moved to Chicago for a failed reunion with her mother, who by then had gotten married to Max Rosenberg.Subsequently, she moved into her own apartment there and took office jobs to support herself. She later said, “I’d hoped so hard that my mother would love me that I had to take the chance and find out. When she didn’t, I had nowhere else to go.” Hillary Rodham Clinton later attributed her interest in children’s welfare to her mother’s life as well as her belief that caring adults outside of family can fill a child’s emotional voids.
NOV 1, 2011 Dorothy Rodham, Mother and Mentor of Hillary Clinton, Is Dead at 92 NEW YORK TIMES
Her family announced her death. Mrs. Clinton canceled a trip to London and Istanbul to be at her mother’s side.
Her childhood had been Dickensian. She was abandoned by dysfunctional, divorced parents at the age of 8 in Chicago, sent unsupervised on a cross-country train with a younger sister to live with unwelcoming grandparents in California and, at 14, escaped into the adult world of the Depression as a $3-a-week nanny.
On her own, she attended high school and became a good student, though her job left little time for other activities. Her employers were kind to her, however, and she had two influential teachers. College proved to be out of the question, but she got a job as a secretary in Chicago, and after years of lonely toil she married a gruff traveling salesman and settled into a life of cooking, cleaning and raising three children.
Mrs. Clinton portrayed her mother as a caring beacon of strength in the family, offering intellectual stimulation and teaching her children to be calm and resolute. “I’m still amazed at how my mother emerged from her lonely early life as such an affectionate and levelheaded woman,” she wrote.
Dorothy Emma Howell was born on June 4, 1919, in Chicago, the oldest of two children of Edwin John Howell Jr., a firefighter, and the former Della Murray. Her sister, Isabelle, was born in 1924. They lived as boarders in a house with four other families. The parents fought often and sometimes violently, according to Cook County records of the time.
Mr. Howell sued for divorce, accusing his wife of abandonment and abuse of the children. She did not show up in court; her sister, Frances Czeslawski, testified against her, and Mr. Howell was granted the divorce and custody of the children in 1927. But unwilling or unable to care for them, he put them on a train to Alhambra, Calif., where his parents, Edwin Sr. and Emma, lived.
The grandparents were ill-prepared to raise the girls. Mr. Howell, a laborer for the city, left the task to his wife, whom Mrs. Rodham recalled as a strict woman in black dresses who discouraged visitors and parties and berated and punished them for small infractions. When she discovered that Dorothy had gone trick-or-treating one Halloween, she ordered her confined to her room for a year, except to go to school.
In 1934 Dorothy moved out and became a housekeeper, cook and nanny for a family in San Gabriel. Her employers gave her a room, board and $3 a week and encouraged her to read and go to school. Dorothy enrolled at Alhambra High School, where she joined the Scholarship Club and the Spanish Club.
Years later, Mrs. Rodham recalled two teachers: Miss Drake, who taught speech and drama, and Miss Zellhoefer, who taught her to write. “She taught English and was very strict,” Mrs. Rodham wrote in a book marking the school’s centennial in 1998. “We came from her class with respect for her and a solid ground in English. What made her special was her desire that we develop critical thinking.”
After graduating in 1937, Dorothy returned to Chicago at the request of her mother, Della, who had remarried. The girl was told that her mother’s new husband had offered to help pay her college expenses, and Dorothy hoped to enroll at Northwestern University. But when she got to Chicago, she discovered that the offer had evaporated, and that her mother actually wanted her to work as her housekeeper.
“I’d hoped so hard that my mother would love me that I had to take the chance and find out,” Mrs. Rodham said long after that wrenching, sentimental journey. “When she didn’t, I had nowhere else to go.”
She found secretarial work in Chicago. In 1942 she married Hugh Ellsworth Rodham, eight years her senior, who became the owner of a small drapery-fabric business. They moved to suburban Park Ridge, where their children — Hillary, Hugh and Tony — were born and reared. They survive her, as do four grandchildren.
Mrs. Rodham pushed her children to stand up for themselves, Mrs. Clinton said. Once, when she was 4, she went home in tears after a neighborhood girl had bullied her. “You have to face things and show them you’re not afraid,” her mother told her. If she was hit again, Mrs. Rodham advised, “hit her back.”
“She later told me she watched from behind the curtain as I squared my shoulders and marched across the street,” Mrs. Clinton wrote. “I returned a few minutes later, glowing with victory.
As a freshman at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, Hillary called home to express doubts about her ability to stay on and compete. “You can’t quit,” Mrs. Clinton quoted her mother as telling her. “You’ve got to see through what you’ve started.”
Mr. and Mrs. Rodham moved to Little Rock, Ark., in 1987, to be near Mrs. Clinton, whose husband, Bill, was then governor of Arkansas, and their granddaughter Chelsea. Mrs. Rodham took college courses in psychology and other subjects. She kept her home in Little Rock after Mr. Clinton became president. Mr. Rodham died in 1993.
In 1996, at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Mrs. Rodham was featured in a film shown before Mr. Clinton made his acceptance speech as he began his bid for re-election. “Everybody knows,” she said, “there is only one person in the world who can really tell the truth about a man, and that’s his mother-in-law.”
Mrs. Rodham, who had done little traveling abroad, accompanied Chelsea on a trip to Jodhpur, India, in 2000. After Mrs. Clinton joined the Senate in 2001, Mrs. Rodham spent time at her Washington home. The Clintons bought her a condominium near their home in Chappaqua, N.Y., in 2003. After 2006, she lived mostly at Mrs. Clinton’s home in Washington.
She was in the Senate gallery when Mrs. Clinton took the oath for her second term in January 2007, and appeared in Iowa and New Hampshire early in Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. And when she quit the race in June 2008, Mrs. Clinton stood with her mother and her daughter at the National Building Museum in Washington, their hands raised together in a memorable three-generation tableau.