Monday, August 27, 2012


Part one of a series about Presidential candidate Mitt Romney
Mitt's Mom: Lenore Romney
As election time moves closer politics seems to obscure the nature of a candidate.  Voters tend to lean on the give and take of the day.  Often forgetting the background and life of a candidate.  Mitt Romney has led a storied American life.  From his beginning in Michigan to his self made success as a businessman to now our Presidential nominee, Mitt Romney is the best of what America represents.
Let's explore in short order the life of Mitt Romney.  And see how the American story shows throughout his life.  This posting is a look at the mother of Mitt Romney.  And, how on her own merits, she made her mark in service to America.

Mitt is the son of George W. and Lenore Romney.  George Romney was born in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1907.  Lenore was born in Logan, Utah, in 1908.  George's parents were working as missionaries in Mexico then moved to Utah at the start of the Mexican revolution.  George first met Lenore in 1924 as they attended high school in Salt Lake City.  They were wed on July 2, 1931, at the Salt Lake Temple.  They had two daughters and two sons with Mitt being the youngest.

Lenore's life history is admirable in it's own right.  Born on November 9, 1908, in Logan, Utah as Lenore LaFount.  Her parents were Alma and Harold LaFount.  Both of her parents had colonial heritage from England.  Lenore was raised in Salt Lake City.  She attended Latter-Day Saints High School where she developed a strong interest in drama and first met George Romney.  Her family was steeped in the Latter-Day Saints faith.  She graduated from high school in 1926, then attended the University of Utah and George Washington University.  Graduating from GWU in 1929.

She embarked on a career in drama and theater with interesting accomplishments.  Here is a mix of the many experiences:

  • Worked for NBC Radio performing Shakespeare plays.  Then, she traveled west to California to work as an actress for Metro Goldwyn Mayer studios
  • Greeting Charles Lindbergh after his famous Spirit of  Saint Louis flight.
  • Taking acting roles in several movies.  Some included Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow and Clark Gable.
Lenore chose to move from Hollywood with George Romney to Washington, DC, following their wedding at the Salt Lake Temple on July 2, 1931.  Her choice moved her away from acting and into family life with George.  

In Washington, the couple became very involved with political movers.  The Romneys often hosted social events with Presidents including Hoover, Roosevelt and other politicos.  Lenore hosted a radio show on WRC with Arthur Godfrey called Poetical Hitchhiking.

From 1938 to 1941 Lenore became a mother.  After a couple of difficult pregnancies she had two daughters and a son.  She was told she may not be able to have another.  In 1947, she brought into the world her youngest and last son, Willard Mitt Romney.  She referred to Mitt as her 'miracle' as her physician thought she may not give birth again.

Another page in the Romney family had turned.  They moved to Michigan with George taking a new position with the American Manufacturers Association.  A series of bad health incidents brought her pause in some of her activities.  

In 1962, George entered political life winning as Governor of Michigan.  Lenore was a ground breaker in that time as she actively campaigned and gave stump speeches on behalf of George.

In 1968, she continued with actively campaigning for George in his bid to become President.  His campaign for the Republican nomination ended before the first primary.

She became the candidate in 1970.  With George now serving as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Lenore became the best choice for Republican candidate for United States Senate in Michigan.  She was a relentless campaigner as she had world's of experience with George's political career.  She ran versus two term incumbent Democrat, Senator Philip Hart.  She criss-crossed Michigan to win over voters.  Her campaign was not successful as she faced a society not yet open to having women in elected position.

Her latter years she served in many roles from Presidential initiatives to representing non-profit charities.  Her service with organizations included:  Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Center for Voluntary Action, Urban Service Corps, National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the National Women's Political Caucus.

She campaigned for Mitt Romney's 1994 campaign for U.S. Senate.  She gave interviews with the press talking about the upright character of her son compared to Ted Kennedy's antics.

In 1995, she lost her life friend and husband George to a heart attack at their home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.  They had 64 years of marriage.

Lenore had a traumatic stroke at age 89 in 1998.  She was not able to recover, and passed away at a hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.

Lenore certainly did have a full life on her own merits.  From acting to politics, she made her mark on the American journey.  And, raised an American family which groomed our 2012 Republican candidate, Willard Mitt Romney.


The commentary provided on and "The American Maverick Radio Show" are the remarks on behalf of Maverick Media and personal expression of Flint Engleman. In no way, are these statements on behalf of any other organization or political entity.

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