The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Untold Story of the Partnership That Defined a Presidency

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Kathryn Smith

Narrated By: Bernadette Dunne

Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks

Date: September 2016

Duration: 8 hours 40 minutes


The first biography of arguably the most influential member of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration, Marguerite "Missy" LeHand, FDR's de facto chief of staff, who has been misrepresented, mischaracterized, and overlooked throughout history ... until now.

Widely considered the first female presidential chief of staff, Marguerite "Missy" LeHand was the right-hand woman to Franklin Delano Roosevelt-both personally and professionally-for more than twenty years. Although her official title as personal secretary was relatively humble, her power and influence were unparalleled. Everyone in the White House knew one truth: if you wanted access to Franklin, you had to get through Missy. She was one of his most trusted advisors, affording her a unique perspective on the president that no one else could claim, and she was deeply admired and respected by Eleanor and the Roosevelt children.

With unprecedented access to Missy's family and original source materials, journalist Kathryn Smith tells the captivating and forgotten story of the intelligent, loyal, and clever woman who had a front-row seat to history in the making. The Gatekeeper is a thoughtful, revealing unsung-hero story about a woman ahead of her time, the true weight of her responsibility, and the tumultuous era in which she lived; a long overdue tribute to one of the most important female figures in American history. "Despite the many shelves of books written on the personal and political life of Franklin D. Roosevelt, we have no biography of Marguerite 'Missy' LeHand, FDR's close friend and aide. She was with him-and vital to his progress-from the earliest days of his affliction with polio in 1921 to the world crisis of 1941. Now Kathryn Smith is assembling the written materials and the personal remembrances of Missy's family to tell a most important story about America's most successful twentieth century president."-Frank Costigliola, author of Roosevelt's Lost Alliances