First Friend - The Love Affair of Lorena Hickok and Eleanor Roosevelt

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Date: October 14, 2015
Contact: Elizabeth Tucker, 510-232-5050 Ext. 6624

(Richmond, CA) –On Saturday, November 7th at 11 AM, pioneer Lesbian Playwright and Actor, Terry Baum, will talk about Eleanor Roosevelt's love affair with hard-living, butch reporter, Lorena Hickok, their 30 year relationship and their humanitarian work. 

Her program will explore information she discovered while doing research for a play entitled "HICK: A Love Story - the Romance of Lenora Hickok &Eleanor Roosevelt."

Hick was the most famous woman journalist of her day and the first woman to have a byline on the front page of the NY Times. She met Eleanor Roosevelt during FDR's first Presidential campaign in 1932, and after convincing her editor that this particular candidate's wife was worth her own reporter, was assigned to the job. The love affair between the patrician First Lady and the charming, hard-living butch reporter lasted several years. Their friendship lasted Mrs. Roosevelt's lifetime. Hick helped Mrs. Roosevelt become an outspoken, media-savvy activist for democracy and human rights -- one of the greatest women of the 20th century.

Since not all historians agree about the nature of the relationship between the First Lady and the reporter, the playwright did her own primary research, traveling to Hyde Park, NY to study original documents, including Eleanor Roosevelt's letters, in the "Lorena Hickok" files at the FDR Library.She also interviewed people who actually knew Hick.

Of the letters the First Lady wrote to Hick, 2336 survive, beginning in 1933 and ending with Eleanor Roosevelt's death in 1962. These letters were discovered in 1978, when a researcher opened 18 boxes willed to the FDR Library by Lorena Hickok. Terry Baum found that the letters document a passionate lesbian relationship between them in the early years of their friendship –and a deep connection that lasted Eleanor Roosevelt's lifetime.

Ms. Baum's play, "HICK: A Love Story - the Romance of Lenora Hickok &Eleanor Roosevelt ,"was nominated for the prestigious Theatre Bay Area Award in San Francisco. The play received standing ovations at the 2015 NYC International Fringe Festival and was one often plays (out of 185) selected for "The NYC Fringe Encore Series."

Terry Baum has been creating theater in San Francisco since she founded Lilith, the Women's Theater Collective, in 1974. As a solo performer of her own work, she has toured the U.S., Canada, Europe and Israel. Her work has been translated into French, Dutch, and Swedish and four of her plays have been published and produced all over the world. An Italian version of Dos Lesbos offended the Pope during the World Pride 2000 celebration in Rome. Immediate Family, performed by a Dutch movie star, was a stage hit in Amsterdam and filmed for Dutch prime time TV. Ms. Baum has received the Restless Pens Playwriting Award and the KPFA Radio Playwriting Award and she is a member of the Dramatists Guild. 

Space is limited and reservations are required for this program. Please call 510-232-5050 x0 and leave a message with your name and phone number, and specify the program you would like to attend.

The Rosie the Riveter Visitor Education Center is open seven days a week from 10 AM to 5 PM and is located at 1414 Harbour Way South, suite 3000, Richmond, CA 94804. For more information and directions to the Visitor Education Center, please call (510) 232-5050 x0 or visit to Admission to the Visitor Center and all park sites and programs is free.

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Last updated: October 22, 2015

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