On Sale 8/6/24

A powerful biography of one of the most private first ladies—featuring exclusive access to never-before-published material.

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The personification of the postwar ideal of the self-effacing homemaker, Pat Nixon was an intensely private person, in a painfully public role, at a time when America's role and a woman's role were both subjects of bitter debate. To relive that era of turmoil from the First Lady's anguished vantage point in Heath Lee’s thoroughly researched and elegantly written biography is unexpectedly enthralling. As her husband, Richard Nixon, put it, 'She also ran.
— Niall Ferguson, Milbank Family Senior Fellow, the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and author of Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist.
For this reader, Pat Nixon came to life in surprising ways in The Mysterious Mrs. Nixon. She was smarter than people knew, funnier than people expected and stronger than people gave her credit for. She was also a successful diplomat for her husband and contributed to his political success including her advancing of his commitment to civil rights – all documented here for the first time. As Dick later said of Pat, “She deserved so much more.” That she did... and she gets it here.
— J Randy Taraborelli, New York Times bestselling author of Jackie: Public, Private, Secret
Everything I thought I knew about Pat Nixon was upended by reading Heath Hardage Lee’s astonishing new biography. Beautiful, steely, and charismatic, Pat Nixon was, in Henry Kissinger’s words, a woman ‘totally without illusions,’ who cloaked her extraordinary ambition in the guise of ‘The Nation’s Ideal Housewife.’ The Mysterious Mrs. Nixon convinced me that the tragedy of Watergate could have been avoided entirely had Dick Nixon followed the path of his remarkable First Lady.
— Debby Applegate, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Madam: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age
A marvelous biography—a deeply reported, illuminating story of love, ambition, and influence.
Jonathan Eig, author of King: A Life and Ali: A Life
Heath Lee reveals a strong, complex, intensely human woman. Mrs. Nixon is a mystery no more
Christine Todd Whitman, 50th Governor of New Jersey and best-selling author of It’s My Party Too

Heath Hardage Lee

About the Author

Woman with dog

Heath Hardage Lee is an award-winning historian, biographer, and curator. Heath’s second book, The League of Wives is being developed into a television series. Heath and her work have been featured on the Today Show, C-Span, and on the Smithsonian Channel’s America’s Hidden Stories. She also writes about history and politics for publications such as Time, The Hill, The Atlantic and White House History Quarterly. She lives in Roanoke, Virginia, with her husband Chris, her children Anne Alston and James, and her French bulldog Dolly Parton.

Connect With Heath

Contact Heath

Heath is available for public speaking and lectures. Please inquire about availability.

Please contact Heath directly regarding film rights for her books.

She retains the dramatic rights for all her literary properties.

[email protected]
© Heath Hardage Lee • Photos courtesy of the Museum of the Confederacy and Library of Congress
Author Heath Lee, a southern Biographer, independent historian and curator, southern history writer, and southern women's writer, has authored The League of Wives, which is being released in April of 2019, a book about the strong wives of POW pilots in Vietnam that has attracted the interest of Hollywood.