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Social Secretary Quotes: Edith Benham Helm

Social Secretary Quotes: Edith Benham Helm

Edith Benham Helm with her staff in 1918.

Edith Benham Helm, social secretary in the Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and Truman administrations, 1915–1921 and 1933–1953

“To really know the ins and outs of Washington I think you must have lived there a long time, and Mrs. Helm could qualify as one of the ‘cave dwellers.’ She knew protocol and what one should do, and after being with us for the few days in the White House and straightening us out of our first difficulties, she decided she would stay to help us with the social side of our problems….I am sure I was at times a trial until Mrs. Helm came to know me better, for her social conscience where dinners and official functions were concerned was far more pronounced than mine.”

—Eleanor Roosevelt’s foreword to The Captains and the Kings by Edith Benham Helm, 1954