Meet Author Kathryn Smith

A Passion for Women’s History

Kathryn Smith is a journalist, writer and American history speaker who is fascinated by women who were ahead of their time. Her interest in Gertrude Legendre was aroused when a friend told her about the multi-talented, multi-tasking mistress of Medway Plantation. “When she got to the part about Gertie escaping the Nazis over the Swiss border, I said, ‘Wait, wait, one woman did all this?” As part of her research, Kathryn personally traced Gertie’s POW experience, from the Ritz Hotel bar in Paris where she met a friend who agreed to drive her to the front, to her escape by train from Konstanz, Germany. Her research also took her to Aiken, where Gertie was born, New York, where she lived in a mansion off Central Park, and, finally, to Medway itself.

Kathryn is also the author of The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Partnership That Defined a Presidency and a series of mystery novels featuring Missy LeHand as an amateur detective co-authored with Kelly Durham. She lives in Anderson, South Carolina with her husband, Leo.

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Contact Information

All images of Gertrude Sanford Legendre courtesy College of Charleston Library, Special Collections