|Teresa Heinz Kerry - who is hoping to become First Lady
after US elections in November - is to address Democratic delagates
with a "personal message".
Tuesday is the second day of the convention which will nominate
her husband, John Kerry.
Howard Dean, who had challeneged Mr Kerry in the Democrat
primaries, spoke in support of his former rival.
"I'm proud of John Kerry's leadership, and I intend to stand
shoulder to shoulder with him," said Mr Dean.
"This was never about me. It was about us. It was about giving
new life to our party, new energy to our democracy," said the former
governor of Vermont.
Ron Reagan, son of the late Republican president, is also due to
speak, addressing delegates about the need for stem cell
Former President Bill Clinton launched a blistering attack
on President George W Bush on the opening night on Monday.
He portrayed Mr Kerry as a Vietnam hero, ready to be a wartime
But the latest poll suggested a decline in voter support for Mr
Only 46% backed him against 48% for Mr Bush, said the Washington
Post/ABC poll. Respondents said they did no know enough about Mr
The Democrat hopeful will address the convention on Thursday, its
Teresa Heinz Kerry told CNN her speech would be "personal".
"It's my words. I feel very comfortable with it," Mrs Heinz Kerry
"I speak from my heart, from my head and from my soul."
Teresa Heinz Kerry brings an extraordinary range of
experience and talent to the campaign trail for her husband. She has
been deeply involved with a number of issues that are equally
important to her husband, including the environment, children,
women's issues, and health care and wellness. She has been an
outspoken advocate for human rights, and a strong supporter
of the arts.
Born in Mozambique, fluent in five languages, she has combined
compassion and common sense to become a force for innovation and
social progress as leader of one of the nation's largest private
foundations. After studying in South Africa and Switzerland, she
moved to the United States to work for the United Nations. In 1966,
she married Senator John Heinz, with whom she had three sons.
Shortly after celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in 1991,
she lost her husband in a plane crash.
Turning down offers to run for her husband's Senate seat, she
became chair of The Howard Heinz Endowment and the Heinz Family
Philanthropies. Under her leadership, the Heinz foundations
are widely known for developing innovative strategies to protect the
environment, improve education and the lives of young children,
broaden economic opportunity, and promote the arts.
She started advocating for women early, attending the first
meeting of the Women's Political Caucus in Pennsylvania in 1972. She
established the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement in 1996 to
educate women about pensions, savings, and retirement security.
Their mutual interest in environmental issues brought Teresa and
John together. She was first introduced to John Kerry by Senator
Heinz at an Earth Day rally in 1990. In 1992, she ran into Kerry at
the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, where she was representing U.S.
non-governmental organizations. In 1993 they began dating, and were
married in the presence of her three sons and his two daughters on
Memorial Day weekend in 1995.
Teresa has received numerous awards and 10 honorary degrees for
her many works. In September of last year, she was presented with
the Albert Schweitzer Gold Medal for Humanitarianism, for her work
protecting the environment, promoting health care and education and
uplifting women and children throughout the world. She was recently
elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In addition to her three sons and two step-daughters, Teresa is
the almost inordinately (but understandably) proud
grandmother of one grandchild.
Her son, Chris, is also due to address the delegates.
Mrs Heinz Kerry's speech is part of an attempt to improve the
image of her husband.
But she has not done too well so far this week, says the BBC's
Justin Webb at the convention.
She is uncontrollable, which in a pre-packaged political age,
makes her unusually interesting, he says.
Mrs Heinz Kerry got into an argument with a journalist who had
annoyed her on Monday.
A day later she was unrepentant.
"I fight and have fought and took risks for freedom, for justice
and for fairness," Mrs Heinz Kerry told NBC television.
"If someone attacks me and my integrity and puts words in my
mouth, I will defend myself, and I think every American person
But she has caused further embarrassment with an interview
conducted in the 1970s, unearthed by her enemies, in which she said
she did not trust Edward Kennedy, now her husband's chief backer,
our correspondent says.
In the interview she thought the Democrats were "putrid".
Senator Edward Kennedy is due to speak before the delegates on
Tuesday - as well as former Vermont Governor Howard Dean - an early
challenger of Mr Kerry for the Democratic Party nomination.