John Hay, the Illinois boy who got to know Abraham Lincoln because a family member of his had an office next to Lincoln’s in Springfield, became rich and powerful in his own right.

Hay became one of Lincoln’s White House secretaries and his confidante.

After the assassination, Hay and fellow secretary John Nicolay co-wrote an exhaustive multi-volume biography of Lincoln.

Hay then served as Secretary of State to President Theodore Roosevelt.

Roosevelt was a visitor to Hay’s Romanesque Revival mansion facing the White House on Washington’s tony Lafayette Square.

Hay’s wife was a Cleveland heiress, and even his mistress had a pedigree. She was the wife of wealthy, well-connected Massachusetts Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge.

Source: Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989 by Michael Beschloss