Margaret Woodrow Wilson

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Margaret Wilson
Margaret Woodrow Wilson 1912.jpg
First Lady of the United States
In role
August 6, 1914 – December 18, 1915
President Woodrow Wilson
Preceded by Ellen Wilson
Succeeded by Edith Wilson
Personal details
Born Margaret Woodrow Wilson
(1886-04-16)April 16, 1886
Gainesville, Georgia, U.S.
Died February 12, 1944(1944-02-12) (aged 57)
Pondicherry, French India
Cause of death Uremia

Margaret Woodrow Wilson (April 16, 1886 – February 12, 1944) was the eldest daughter of US President Woodrow Wilson and Ellen Louise Axson. Her two sisters were Jessie and Eleanor, after her mother's death in 1914, Margaret served her father as the White House social hostess, the title later known as First Lady. Her father remarried in 1915.

Early life and education[edit]

Margaret Woodrow Wilson (her middle name was her paternal grandmother's surname and father's middle name) was born in Gainesville, Georgia in 1886. Both her parents strongly identified with the South, and both of their fathers had been Protestant ministers. Wilson's parents were living in the North where her father was teaching, but her mother did not want her children born as Yankees. Ellen Axson Wilson arranged to stay with family in Gainesville for the births of her first two daughters. Margaret attended local schools, sometimes associated with the colleges where her father taught during her growing years.


In his will, Wilson's father had bequeathed her an annuity of $2,500 annually (worth $34,937 today) as long as that amount did not exceed one-third of the annual income of his estate.[1] Wilson sang, and she made several recordings around 1918.

Circa 1940, Margaret Wilson traveled to the ashram of Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry, French India, where she chose to stay for the rest of her life. She became a Hindu nun, after she became a member of the ashram, she was given the new name 'Nistha', meaning "dedication" in Sanskrit. She and the scholar Joseph Campbell edited the English translation of the classical work on the Hindu mystic, Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna by Swami Nikhilananda, which was published in 1942, by Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, New York.[2]

Wilson died in India from uremia.[3]


  1. ^ Wills of the U.S. Presidents, edited by Herbert R Collins and David B Weaver (New York: Communication Channels Inc., 1976) p. 176, ISBN 0-916164-01-2.
  2. ^ Nikhilananda, Swami (1942). "Preface". The Gospel of Ramakrishna. Chennai: Sri Ramakrishna Math. 
  3. ^ "Woodrow Wilson Daughter Dead". The Milwaukee Sentinel. February 14, 1944. p. 1. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Ellen Wilson
First Lady of the United States
De facto

Succeeded by
Edith Wilson