Bette Nesmith Graham
- Category : 1924-births
- Type : GE
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Healing 1
American typist, commercial artist, and the inventor of Liquid Paper. She was the mother of musician and producer Michael Nesmith of The Monkees.
She married Warren Audrey Nesmith (1919–1984) before he left to fight in World War II. While he was overseas she had a child (Robert Michael Nesmith, born 30 December 1942). After Warren Nesmith returned home, they divorced (1946). Her father died in the early 1950s, leaving some property in Dallas to Bette. She, her mother, Michael, and her sister Yvonne moved there. To support herself as a single mother, she worked as a secretary at Texas Bank and Trust. She eventually attained the position of the executive secretary, the highest position open at that time to women in the industry.
It was difficult to erase mistakes made by early electric typewriters, which caused problems. In order to make extra money she used her talent painting holiday windows at the bank. She realized, as she said, "with lettering, an artist never corrects by erasing, but always paints over the error. So I decided to use what artists use. I put some tempera water-based paint in a bottle and took my watercolor brush to the office. I used that to correct my mistakes."
Graham eventually began marketing her typewriter correction fluid as "Mistake Out" in 1956. The name was later changed to Liquid Paper when she began her own company.
Bette Nesmith married Robert Graham in 1962; he joined her in running the company. They divorced in 1975.
She sold Liquid Paper to the Gillette Corporation for USD $47.5 million in 1979. At the time, her company employed 200 people and made 25 million bottles of Liquid Paper per year.
Bette Nesmith died on 12 May 1980, aged 56, in Richardson, Texas. Her only son, Michael Nesmith, inherited half of his mother's estate of over $50 million.