Sunday, May 2, 2010
More on Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, Cary Grayson
The above note was obtained on my recent trip to the Cary Grayson papers at the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace in Staunton. When I came across a file of letters of condolence to Gertude Grayson upon the death of her husband from lymphoma, I looked for and found this one from Lucy (Mercer) Rutherfurd.
Since FDR and Grayson were both very tight-lipped we will never know the the true extent of their relationship but there is much room for educated speculation.
It is highly probable that the two men were extremely close and that Grayson called most of the shots medically for FDR until his own death in 1938. It is no coincidence that Ross McIntire was not promoted until shortly after Grayson's death.
There is absolute evidence in the Grayson papers that not only McIntire was chosen by Grayson, but also fellow Virginian Edmund "Pa" Watson. The other important individual in FDR's life for whom CTG was responsible was George Adam Fox, the medical aide who functioned in the same capacity for Woodrow Wilson.
Grayson was undoubtedly aware of FDR's affair with Lucy and likely facilitated her presence at the two inaugurals he chaired. Interestingly, when Grayson needed to rest up for his 1934 surgery at the Mayo Clinic (where both Hopkins and FDR son James were operated as well) (Mayo was the FDR and company clinic of choice until Frank Lahey came on the scene), he chose to go to stay at Hobcaw Barony, the estate of his old friend Bernard Baruch. It is likely no coincidence that in April 1944 when FDR need a similar rest and being too sick to fly to Guantanamo (the plans were active until at least April 30th), he chose Hobcaw as an alternative.