Election 1944: Truman’s wife on payroll of Senate at $4,500 a year (7-26-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (July 26, 1944)


Truman’s wife on payroll of Senate at $4,500 a year

‘I never make any decision unless she’s in on it,’ says nominee for Vice President

Washington –
Mrs. Bess W. Truman, wife of Senator Harry Truman (D-MO), Democratic vice-presidential nominee, is on the Senate payroll as his clerk at $4,500 a year.

Records of the Senate secretary’s office show that she went on the payroll in July 1941, at $2,400 a year, and remained until June 1943. She went back last fall and is still on.

Senator Truman said from his home in Independence, Missouri:

She is my chief adviser. I never write a speech without going over it with her. I had to do it because I had so much to do and I never make any decision unless she is in on it. She also takes care of my personal mail.

The $4,500 salary is the top pay for Senators’ clerical help.

At Senator Truman’s office here, it was explained that Mrs. Truman chiefly handles the Senator’s personal mail, that she knows his old Army friends of World War I, and knows them to call “Dear Bill,” and whom to address as “Dear Mr. Jones.”

She does not typewrite nor take dictation, his office said, but writes some of the Senator’s personal letters in longhand. She comes down “a couple of days a week” to gather up the correspondence she handles.

Senator Truman married Miss Bess Wallace of Independence, in 1919. They have one daughter, Margaret.

As Senator, Mr. Truman receives an annual salary of $10,000.

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