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Ilo Browne Wallace (March 10, 1888 – February 22, 1981) was the wife of Henry A. Wallace, the 33rd U.S Vice President and later Secretary of Commerce. She was the 23rd Second Lady of the United States from 1941 until 1945. She was the sponsor of the USS Iowa (BB-61).
|Second Lady of the United States|
January 20, 1941 – January 20, 1945
|Vice President||Henry A. Wallace|
|Preceded by||Mariette Garner|
|Succeeded by||Bess Truman|
March 10, 1888
Indianola, Iowa, U.S.
|Died||February 22, 1981
South Salem, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Henry A. Wallace (m. 1914; d. 1965)|
|Alma mater||Monmouth College|
Born in Indianola, Iowa, she was the daughter of James Lytle Browne and his wife, the former Harriet Lindsay.
She attended Monmouth College with the class of 1911.
She married Henry Agard Wallace in Des Moines, Iowa, on May 20, 1914. They had three children: Henry Browne Wallace (1915–2005), Jean Browne Wallace (1920–2011), and Robert Browne Wallace (1918–2002). Her husband later became the editor-in-chief of Wallace's Farmer, an influential Midwestern farming magazine that had been founded by his father, Henry Cantwell Wallace, a future U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
A small inheritance she received from her parents enabled the Wallaces and their business partners to establish, in 1926, Hi-Bred Corn Company, which developed and distributed hybrid maize and eventually transformed agriculture. The company is now known as Pioneer Hi-Bred International, the world's second largest seed company.
Mrs. Wallace, a child of the conservative Iowa farmlands, was an intensely private person whose entire life seemed to be her husband and children.
Yet she graciously suffered the public role pressed upon her as Washington hostess and occasional campaigner while Mr. Wallace served first as Secretary of Agriculture and then as Vice President under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and subsequently as Secretary of Commerce under President Harry S. Truman. Mr. Wallace ran for President in 1948 as the candidate of the Progressive Party.
With unassuming personal charm, Mrs. Wallace stood in reception lines and often attended functions as a substitute for Mrs. Roosevelt. But she refused to give interviews or make speeches. Concern for Small Farmer
During World War II, she sponsored the Patrick Henry, the first of the nation's vast fleet of Liberty ships, and served as a Red Cross worker. She spent her summers at the Wallace home in Iowa, where she gardened, rode horses and did what the Wallaces were known for in the capital - discussing farm topics.
She deeply shared her husband's concern for the small farmer and did what she could to educate those who counted in Washington on the topic.
After Mr. Wallace broke with the Democrats in 1946 over President Truman's stern policy toward the Soviet Union, the Wallaces moved to the farm they had bought in South Salem, in Westchester County.
Mrs. Wallace campaigned for her husband in 1948, and began giving occasional speeches and interviews. In one interview, she recalled her years in the capital. 'Just Party After Party'
Life in Washington, she said, was just party after party, luncheon after luncheon, dinner after dinner. You have to entertain, and you must observe protocol. I remember once I invited too much rank to a dinner party and finally had to turn to the State Department to help me with seating arrangements, to make sure no one was hurt by being seated too far down the table.
She also defended Mr. Wallace against those who questioned his loyalty to America but conceded that he had a problem clarifying his statements.
I don't think my husband always helps things, she said. He puts his worst foot forward. Real-Estate Broker's Daughter. 
On February 22, 1981 she died at the Wallace estate, Farvue Farm, in South Salem, New York. Her funeral service and burial was private at request of the family. She was 92.
|Second Lady of the United States