A reporter for the Associated Press, Lorena Hickok was drawn into the Roosevelts’ ambit in 1932 when she began covering FDR’s presidential campaign. Her beat soon became the first lady, but she overshot the mark: The reporter-source relationship deepened into an intimate friendship.
Historians don’t agree on whether Eleanor Roosevelt and “Hick” were lovers. “Their correspondence is warm, intimate, and inconclusive,” Michael Golay writes in “America 1933,” while noting that Hickok destroyed some of the letters. The closeness, evident at the time, enmeshed Hickok in a blatant conflict of interest. If her relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt was to continue, her wire-service reporting days had to end.