Mary Finch Hoyt | Press secretary, 89
When her third marriage ended, Mrs. Hoyt found herself in Washington with two young sons she was determined to support. She launched a freelance career writing for magazines such as Cosmopolitan and became network-savvy in a city of political operators.
After two years as the Peace Corps' director of radio and television, Mrs. Hoyt was a press secretary, Ladies' Home Journal's Washington bureau chief, and became a partner in a public relations firm.
A Peace Corps colleague who was close to former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter helped lure Mrs. Hoyt back into politics during the 1976 presidential campaign. She was tapped as Rosalynn Carter's press aide. After Jimmy Carter defeated Gerald Ford, Mrs. Hoyt accompanied Rosalynn Carter to the White House.