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Family connections among the White House residence staff run strong, and it is not unusual for workers in the Executive Mansion to be children or siblings of other employees. The continuance of these family lines through the generations speaks to the level of confidence and trust that First Families place in the household staff, who are in turn dedicated to a high standard of service to the president and the nation. Recommending one’s son, daughter, or sibling for a position in the White House is a further expression of that dedication.

Among members of the residence staff, a spirit of kinship pervades the working White House. It embraces those who are not related by blood, but who are part of a “family” committed to the hard work and cooperation crucial to the efficient operation of the Executive Residence. Employees collaborate on the job, maintain personal ties outside the workplace, and stay in active contact with retired colleagues through correspondence and reunions.

Lillian Rogers Parks, 1992

Lillian Rogers Parks holds a portrait of her mother, Maggie Rogers, who came to the White House in 1909 under President William Howard Taft and retired in 1939 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Parks recalled, “I grew up in the White House. I was 12 years old when I first started going there with my mother.”

Photo by Roland Freeman, Smithsonian Institution

Image: Lillian Rogers Parks, 1992.
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