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Alexander, Sadie Tanner Mossell (03 January 1898–01 November 1989), economist and lawyer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Aaron Mossell, an attorney and the first black graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Mary Tanner. While a young girl her father abandoned the family, and she was raised by her mother with the assistance of relatives....

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Bourneuf, Alice Elizabeth (02 October 1912–07 December 1980), economist, was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, the daughter of Volusien M. Bourneuf, a businessman, and Jessie d’Entremont. Bourneuf belonged to a large, affluent, and devout family. After the death of her father in 1914, the Bourneuf family moved from Haverhill to Brookline, Massachusetts. In the mid-1920s they moved to the Chestnut Hill section of Newton, Massachusetts, and Bourneuf graduated from Newton High School in 1929....

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Burns, Eveline M. (16 March 1900–2 Sept. 1985), economist and Social Security expert, was born Eveline Mabel Richardson in London, the daughter of Frederick Haig Richardson and Eveline Faulkner. Her mother died of complications from her birth, and her father, who administered an office in London that sold silver flatware, remarried the next year. She characterized her father as a very conservative man who aimed to control his household. He did not encourage secondary education; he did not think women should work; he did not approve of government provision of services. Viewing her subsequent life choices, it is clear that Eveline did not let her father control her or her political views....

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Campbell, Persia Crawford (15 March 1898–02 March 1974), economist and consumer leader, was born in Nerrigundah, Australia, the daughter of Rodolph Campbell and Beatrice Harriet Hunt, schoolteachers. She was the first of two children. Her parents were strong Presbyterians and instilled in her at an early age a love of learning. Before she entered high school her father died, leaving her mother as the sole breadwinner. Persia tried to help by making and selling dolls’ clothes. With her excellent grades she was able to enter a state scholarship high school for girls from families of modest incomes....

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Chamberlain, Mariam K. (24 April 1918–02 April 2013), feminist economist, foundation officer, and women’s studies advocate, was born Mariam Kenosian in Chelsea, Massachusetts, the second child and only daughter of Avack Kenosian, a factory worker, and Zabel Kenosian, a homemaker. Her parents immigrated to the United States in 1912 and 1913 in the midst of ongoing Turkish violence against the Armenian community. Despite her parents’ poverty and lack of support for women’s higher education, Mariam was the valedictorian of her class at Chelsea High School. She was accepted to Radcliffe College in 1936, paying her deposit with a $50 prize she had won as the first girl marbles champion of Chelsea. Living at home, Mariam won scholarships, borrowed, and worked as a secretary, completing a B.A. in economics in June 1940. In 1941 she was accepted for the Ph.D. program in economics at Harvard University....

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Dulles, Eleanor Lansing (01 June 1895–30 October 1996), economist and State Department official, was born in Watertown, New York, the fourth child of Allen Macy Dulles, a minister, and Edith Foster Dulles. The family, which also included siblings John Foster, Margaret, and Allen, lived in the Presbyterian manse. Following the birth of another daughter, the family moved to Auburn, New York, where the scholarly Reverend Dulles taught at the Auburn Theological Seminary and preached at the Second Avenue Presbyterian Church. The move to Auburn ideally suited Edith Foster Dulles. She quickly became one of the area’s most active, progressive social work leaders, heading the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union. Edith also brought the expectations and ambitions of her wealthy, upper-class background to bear on her children’s lives. Edith’s father, ...

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Keyserling, Mary Dublin (25 May 1910–11 June 1997), economist, social welfare activist, and federal official, was born Mary Dublin in New York City at the end of the Progressive era, the second of four children of Jewish immigrants Augusta Salik and Louis I. Dublin. Her well-educated parents embraced the social reform impulses of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. After graduating from Horace Mann School, Dublin, as had her mother, was educated at Barnard College, in New York City, where she had an eventful college career highlighted by presidencies of her freshman and junior classes and a fellowship to study with the influential economist John Maynard Keynes, the leading proponent of government intervention to ensure full employment and increase consumer spending. After her graduation in 1930 Dublin accepted employment in Washington, D.C., as a researcher with the Committee on the Costs of Medical Care. A year later she became an administrative assistant with the State Charities Aid Association of New York City. Both positions enabled Dublin to employ her research and writing skills to further progressive causes and policies in the midst of a devastating worldwide economic collapse that began in the late 1920s. Her engagement in practical politics ended when she left her job in 1932 to pursue graduate studies at the London School of Economics and Columbia University, where she completed the examination for a Ph.D. but left graduate school without completing her dissertation when she was offered a faculty position at Sarah Lawrence College....

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Rochester, Anna (30 March 1880–11 May 1966), Marxist economist, writer, and editor, was born in New York City to Louise Agatha Bamman Rochester, a former schoolteacher, and Roswell Hart Rochester, treasurer of Western Union Telegraph Company. Raised an only child in a wealthy suburb of New York, Anna spent her childhood in the company of hired companions and nurses while her mother suffered from trigeminal neuralgia. She attended the Dwight School for Girls in Englewood, New Jersey, and proved especially adept at languages, becoming fluent in German and French....

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Schwartz, Anna Jacobson (11 Nov. 1915–21 June 2012), economist and economic historian, was born Anna Jacobson in the Bronx borough of New York City, the third of five children and second daughter of Hillel Jacobson, a manager in the kosher meat department of Swift and Co., and Pauline Shainmark Jacobson, both immigrants from Eastern Europe. A talented student, Anna Jacobson first became interested in economics at Walton High School in the Bronx. She then enrolled at Barnard College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in ...

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Sumner, Helen (12 March 1876–10 March 1933), economist, was born Helen Laura Sumner in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, the daughter of George True Sumner, an attorney, and Katharine Eudora Marsh. The family moved to Colorado when Sumner was five. Except for a six-month homesteading venture in the Montezuma Valley, the family spent the next eight years in Durango, where Sumner’s father was a judge, and then moved to Denver. After attending local schools, Sumner went east to Wellesley College. She spent one of the next four years at home but still graduated with her class in 1898....

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Walker, Sydnor Harbison (26 September 1891–12 December 1966), economist and Rockefeller Foundation program officer, was born in Louisville, Kentucky to Walter Walker and Mary Sydnor Perkins Walker, the youngest of their three children. She received primary and secondary education in Louisville and attended Vassar College, where she graduated with honors in 1913. Upon her graduation Walker taught English and Latin in secondary schools in Louisville, Dallas, and Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles Walker continued her graduate study and earned a master’s degree in economics from the University of Southern California in 1917. Her thesis explored the European history of the general strike and its implications for improving labor conditions in America. She never married....

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Wolfson, Theresa (19 July 1897–14 May 1972), labor economist and educator, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Adolph Wolfson and Rebecca Hochstein, both Russian immigrants who took in boarders to support their five-member family. Perhaps influenced by the radical political beliefs of her parents, Wolfson, after graduating from Eastern District High School, helped to establish a chapter of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society (precursor to the League for Industrial Democracy) while an undergraduate at Adelphi College, where she began her lifelong study of women, work, industry, and the economy....