Hattie Ophelia Wyatt was born near Bakersville, Tennessee, on February 1, 1878, the daughter of William Carroll Wyatt and Lucy Mildred Burch. After graduating from Dickson Normal College in Tennessee in 1896, she briefly taught school. In 1902, she married Thaddeus Horatius Caraway (1871-1931), a Democrat who later served as a United States Senator from Arkansas (1913-1931). Prior to his election, the Caraways lived in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and during his terms in the Senate, they had a second home in Riverdale, Maryland. Hattie Caraway was appointed to fill her husband's seat temporarily after his death in November 1931, and she successfully ran for the Senate in 1932 and 1938, becoming the country's first elected female senator. During her terms, she participated in several committees, and she co-sponsored the Equal Rights Amendment in 1943. After losing her seat in the election of 1944, Caraway held positions on the Employees' Compensation Commission and Employees' Compensation Appeals Board. She died in Virginia on December 21, 1950.
Hattie Wyatt Caraway and Thaddeus Horatius Caraway had three sons: Paul (1905-1985), Forrest, and Robert ("Bobbie"). Paul attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, and later became a lieutenant general in the United States Army.