Roger Lea MacBride and Adoption


MacBride is described in several sources as the "adoptive" grandson or great-grandson of Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957), author of the Little House series of semi-autobiographical children's books. He was the son of Burt MacBride, an editor of the Reader's Digest during the time when Wilder's eldest daughter, Rose, wrote for the magazine, and his father introduced him to her when he was a teenager. The two became close friends in spite of the age difference (Rose Wilder was born in 1886), and he called her "grandma" and he referred to Rose in an interview as "my adopted grandmother."

I can find no evidence of a formal adoption, but after MacBride graduated from Harvard Law School (1954) he became her lawyer and was appointed her literary heir. After Rose's death in 1968 MacBride took up the series of books started by Laura, editing family letters and manuscripts and contributing extensions of the family saga from Rose's point of view on his own.

He was responsible for The First Four Years, West from Home, Little House on Rocky Ridge, Little Farm in the Ozarks, In the Land of the Big Red Apple, On the Banks of the Bayou, On the Other Side of the Hill, Little Town in the Ozarks, and New Dawn on Rocky Ridge.

He was also a politician, elected to the Vermont state legislature in 1962 (Republican), and he also ran for president in 1976 on the Libertarian Party ticket, receiving about 175,000 votes. His presidential race was financed from Little House royalties. He wrote on government and politics as well.

He and his wife, Susan, were also adoptive parents.

In addition to MacBride, Rose Wilder also informally adopted an Albanian boy, Rexh Meta, who had saved her life on a trip to that country, and financed his later education in the USA.


Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1993-97 Contemporary Authors Irby, Rebecca LeeAnne, and Greetham, Phil. "Rose Wilder Lane." Available at: "Roger MacBride [Obituary]," Libertarian News (April 1995). Also available at: