APRIL 11: Marion Dickerman (1890-1983)


A close friend (and by this we mean most likely a gal pal) of Eleanor Roosevelt, Marion Dickerman was a suffragist and educator in the US.

Born in Westfield, New York, Dickerman studied at Wellesley College and then Syracuse University, where she earned both her BA and a grad degree in education. One of her classmates at Syracuse was Nancy Cook, with whom Marion spent most of her adult life, but they didn’t actually start their relationship until they met “again” while teaching in Fulton, NY.

Marion Dickerman. From the Patterson library, Westfield, NY

Dickerman was also involved with other women throughout her life, most notably, it seems, none other than First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, whom Dickerman and Cook had met while traveling to Hyde Park, NY. You get three wlw together who are all interested in progressive politics and education, and, well, you get the kind of ménage à trois that purchases schools and shares properties.

Trouble had to be brewing in paradise, though: Lorena Hickok (Eleanor’s bae, we’ve already mentioned her on the blog) didn’t like Marion, and boy did she make no mystery of this. Eventually this drove a wedge in the ménage à trois friendship of the three women.

In their later years, Dickerman and Cook moved to Connecticut, where Dickerman
served as the Director of Education

for the Marine Historical Association, from 1946 until 1962.