Logo for Tully, Grace (1900-1984) | Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum

Tully, Grace (1900-1984) | Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum

Name: Tully, Grace (1900-1984)

Historical Note:

Grace Tully Biographical Timeline

Born in Bayonne, New Jersey, August 9, 1900. Father died when young, and she and two sisters and brother were raised by devout Catholic mother. Attended parochial and convent schools before enrolling in secretarial school. Worked for Bishop (then later) Cardinal Patrick Hayes as secretary for ten years. Sought new employment with Democratic National Committee in 1928. Assigned to assist Eleanor Roosevelt who was organizing support for presidential nominee Al Smith. When FDR was nominated for Governor later that year, Grace went to work on Roosevelt's staff. Grace performed the dictation and typing duties that FDR's principal personal secretary Missy LeHand disliked. Grace served with FDR in Albany during his four years as Governor of New York. Moved to Washington in 1933 when FDR elected President. Roles of Tully and LeHand were by this time well defined and accepted. Grace performed dictation and typing, managed the President's mail, and served as primary files manager for the White House. After Missy LeHand suffered a stroke in 1941, Grace became FDR's primary personal secretary. Grace was in Warm Springs with FDR when he died on April 12, 1945. Grace thereafter became executive secretary of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial Foundation. Prior to his death, FDR appointed Grace to a three person committee to serve as a steward of FDR's papers in preparation for their opening to researchers. The other members of the committee were Harry L. Hopkins and Samuel Rosenman. The papers committee was disbanded in the late 1940s after ownership of the FDR papers was confirmed in the United States government following the administration of Roosevelt's estate. The establishment of the committee was deemed a non-testamentary request by the President not binding on the Archivist of the United States. In 1955, Tully joined the staff of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, working closely with then-Senate Majority leader Lyndon B. Johnson. She remained as an aide there until 1965. Grace Tully died on June 15, 1984 at George Washington University Hospital in Washington DC. She never married and had no children.