Joe Biden Mourns Betty White: “She Was A Lovely Lady”

c-title pmc-u-font-size-20 pmc-u-font-size-38@tablet pmc-u-font-size-46@desktop-xl u-text-align-center@mobile-max u-letter-spacing-0025 pmc-u-line-height-normal u-line-height-45@tablet pmc-u-padding-t-1 pmc-u-padding-t-050@mobile-max”>Joe Biden Mourns Betty White: “She Was A Lovely Lady”

By Ted Johnson

Ted Johnson

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December 31, 2021 12:47pm

White House photo/ Pete Souza

UPDATED, with additional comments: President Joe Biden addressed the death of Betty White in speaking to reporters on Friday, reflecting the national impact her passing has had on the culture.

“That’s a shame. She was a lovely lady,” Biden said.

First Lady Jill Biden said, “Who didn’t love Betty White? We’re so sad.”

Later, the president tweeted, “Betty White brought a smile to the lips of generations of Americans. She’s a cultural icon who will be sorely missed. Jill and I are thinking of her family and all those who loved her this New Year’s Eve.”

Betty White brought a smile to the lips of generations of Americans. She’s a cultural icon who will be sorely missed. Jill and I are thinking of her family and all those who loved her this New Year’s Eve.

— President Biden (@POTUS) December 31, 2021

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted, “Today, we lost a beloved TV icon. Betty White was a pioneering actress, who blessed generations of Americans with her talent and humor for 8 decades.  May it be a comfort to her loved ones and many admirers that so many mourn with them during this sad time.”

Today, we lost a beloved TV icon. Betty White was a pioneering actress, who blessed generations of Americans with her talent and humor for 8 decades. 

May it be a comfort to her loved ones and many admirers that so many mourn with them during this sad time.

— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 31, 2021

All the major news networks covered her passing, and NBC News broke into regular programming for a special report.

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FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel tweeted that White was “an icon and a TV legend.”

The U.S. Army issued a statement in which it said, “We are saddened by the passing of Betty White. Not only was she an amazing actress, she also served during WWII as a member of the American Women’s Voluntary Services. A true legend on and off the screen.”

White generally stayed out of the political fray, steering her activism to causes like animal rights. But with a career that stretched back to the earliest, experimental days of television, she was considered a pioneer of the medium who forged a groundbeaking career for women in the industry.

She also took a stand against efforts to cave to prejudices, as happened in 1954, when she was hosting the series Hollywood on Television. Some southern TV stations demanded that a Black dancer, Arthur Duncan, be removed from the cast of the show. White, and the network, refused. She noted in her autobiography, “I was livid — this was 1954, for heaven’s sake! I wanted to tell them what to do with their stations, but wiser heads prevailed.” The stations continued to carry the show “without another word on the subject.”

White had a role in the 1962 political drama Advise & Consent, a classic that went on to be shown in social studies classes, in which she played a character said to be based on Margaret Chase Smith.

In 2012, at age 90, White visited President Barack Obama at the White House, met the First Family’s dog Bo and even taped a video. White endorsed Obama for reelection that year, even as she cautioned that she usually didn’t go public with her political views.

 

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