One woman cast unwillingly into the spotlight late last week was Holly Petraeus, the wife of Gen. David Petraeus, who found herself indirectly the topic of conversation after her decorated husband resigned following an admission of an extra-marital affair.

Below is some background on Mrs. Petraeus's life and career:

  • Petraeus, 59, was born Hollister Knowlton in Paris
  • She is the daughter of the late Gen. William A. Knowlton, a four-star general and NATO commander.
  • Gen. Knowlton also was superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in the early 1970s.
  • Her great-great-grandfather fought in the Civil War and the Indian Wars; her great-grandfather was a brigadier general in the Spanish-American War; her grandfather served in both world wars, earning a Silver Star in the first and rising to lieutenant colonel in the second.
  • She met her future husband, David Petraeus, on a blind date in 1973 when she was a senior at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., and he was a West Point cadet.
  • They married after graduation at the West Point Chapel.
  • In 38 years, Petraeus moved her household and family, which came to include two children, 24 times.
    A partial itinerary: Fort Benning, Ga.; Vicenza, Italy; Fort Knox, Ky.; Fort Stewart, Ga.; Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Princeton, N.J.; West Point, N.Y.; Mons, Belgium; Schweinfurt, Germany; Washington, D.C.; Fort Campbell; Washington; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Washington; Fort Bragg; Fort Campbell; Fort Leavenworth; Washington; Tampa; Washington
  • Her work on a code of ethics for businesses near Fort Campbell led in 2004 to a position as head of the Better Business Bureau's Military Line.
  • In 2010, she was invited to brief Elizabeth Warren on consumer financial problems facing the military.
  • In 2011, she was hired as assistant director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Office of Servicemember Affairs, a government office dedicated to protecting service members and their families from financial predators and pitfalls.

David and Holly Petraeus

David, Holly Petraeus and Family

David and Holly Petraeus