Edith Luckett Davis with her daughter, Nancy, 1931
Edith Prescott Luckett
July 16, 1888
Petersburg, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||October 26, 1987 (aged 99)|
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
Kenneth Seymour Robbins
(m. 1916; div. 1928)
Loyal Edward Davis
(m. 1929; his death 1982)
|Parent(s)||Charles Edward Luckett|
Sarah Frances Whitlock
Edith Prescott Luckett Davis (July 16, 1888 – October 26, 1987) was a film and Broadway stage actress in the 1910s and 1920s. She was the mother of Nancy Reagan, First Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989, and mother-in-law of US president Ronald Reagan.
Edith began acting on the stage, in Baltimore, at the age of 13. At 18 she moved to New York City.  Edith appeared in several films, including The Other Girl (1915). She acted on stage, most notably on Broadway, but also with several regional stock companies. She performed and became friends with such stars as Walter Huston, George M. Cohan and Spencer Tracy. Other friends in the business included Zasu Pitts, Louis Calhern, David Belasco and Alla Nazimova. Her last role on Broadway, was in 1928, with Walter Huston and Kay Francis in Elmer the Great.
Edith married Kenneth Seymour Robbins of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1916. The couple had one daughter, christened Anne Frances Robbins, but known as Nancy. Edith and Ken separated soon after Nancy's birth, and later divorced. Because of Edith continuing her acting career.  She arranged to have her daughter live with her sister's family in Bethesda, Maryland, while she toured the East Coast with acting troupes. She would visit her daughter in Maryland when time allowed.
While on a sea voyage to England in 1928, Edith met Loyal Edward Davis, a pioneering Chicago neurosurgeon. The two were married on May 21, 1929, she moved to Chicago with Nancy, where Edith performed on many radio programs as Edith Luckett Davis. Loyal adopted Nancy when she was 17, legally changing her name to Nancy Davis. Dr. Davis had one son, Richard, from his first marriage, who came to live with the family, in 1939 after Richard's mother,Pearl McPhersen,a nurse, died of cancer. In 1932, Loyal Davis was appointed Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Northwestern University Medical School,his alma, in Chicago, a position he held until 1963.
Edith became heavily involved in community and charity work; she organized the gift shop and served on the board at Passavant Hospital and worked with the Women's Division of the Chicago Charity Fund, eventually becoming chairwoman in serving in that position from 1938 to 1963. While living in Chicago, she saw Nancy move to California, become an actress in her own right, and marry fellow actor Ronald Reagan;Every year Reagan would send flowers to Edith on Nancy's birthday to thank her for giving birth to Nancy.
Upon her husband's retirement as Chief of Surgery in 1963, the couple moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where she volunteered time to healthcare organizations, including the United Cerebral Palsy Crusade. She also sat on the board of the American Cancer Society. In 1983, she was awarded the Arizona Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of her service to the mentally retarded. The award was later renamed the Edith Davis Award.
Dr. Loyal Davis died in 1982 of congestive heart failure, after 53 years of marriage. Upon his death, Edith moved from her home to a smaller apartment in Phoenix. She died on October 26, 1987, aged 99, from a stroke, while her 66-year-old daughter was recovering from breast cancer surgery earlier in the month. Her funeral was held in Phoenix, attended by her daughter, Nancy, who was then First Lady of the United States; son-in-law Ronald Reagan, then-President of the United States; and her stepson,Dr. Richard Davis, among others. The crypt of Edith and Loyal Davis is located in the marble mausoleum in Greenwood/Memory Lawn Mortuary & Cemetery in Phoenix.
- She gave her year of birth as 1896 to the Social Security Administration, thus shaving off eight years.
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- "Kenneth Seymour Robbins". FamilySearch.org. Massachusetts State Vital Records, 1841-1920 : Marriages 1916, vol. 637, Barnstable-Essex. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
- "Edith Davis, Nancy Reagan's Mother, Is Dead". The New York Times. October 27, 1987. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
- Ferrell, David (October 27, 1987). "Nancy Reagan's Mother, Former Actress Edith (Lucky) Davis, Dies". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
- Sims, Ron. "Memories of Loyal Davis, MD". Ward Rounds. Northwestern University. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
- "Dr. Loyal Davis". loyaldavis.com. Retrieved 7 March 2016.