Library Author Presentation Highlights Untold Story of How FDR’s Secretary Helped Shape His Presidency

On Tuesday, September 27 at 6:30 p.m. the Florence County Library System presents Kathryn Smith, author of The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Partnership That Defined a Presidency. Far more than a secretary, Marguerite “Missy” LeHand fulfilled the crucial duties of chief of staff (long before the position was formally created), and had an influential voice in policy decisions and appointment recommendations. She was also Franklin Roosevelt’s confidante, his support when he contracted polio, and his close friend. The book, released earlier this month by Simon & Schuster, is the first biography ever written about Missy LeHand and has received many positive reviews from sources including Booklist and Publishers Weekly.


A journalist and writer, Kathryn Smith spent decades writing for daily newspapers and has been the book columnist for the Anderson (SC) Independent Mail for twenty years. She has been involved through Rotary International in the worldwide effort to eradicate polio. Smith is also the author of A Necessary War, an oral history of World War II told by living veterans and civilians.


The author talk and book signing will take place in the Dr. Joseph T. Stukes Meeting Room of the Doctors Bruce and Lee Foundation Library at 509 S. Dargan Street in Florence. Admission is free and open to the public. Call (843) 413-7074 for more information or visit the library’s web site at