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Elliott, Harriet Wiseman (10 July 1884–06 August 1947), educator, political organizer, and government official, was born in Carbondale, Illinois, the daughter of Allan Curtis Elliott, a merchant who extended easy credit to poor coal miners, and Elizabeth Ann White, a staunch supporter of ...

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Greenway, Isabella (22 March 1886–18 December 1953), congresswoman, businesswoman, and community activist, was born Isabella Selmes in Boone County, Kentucky, the daughter of Martha Macomb Flandrau and Tilden Russell Selmes, a rancher and lawyer. After Isabella’s birth, her mother took her to join Tilden Selmes in North Dakota, where ...

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Hicks, Louise (16 October 1916–21 October 2003), politician, antibusing activist, and U.S. representative, was born Anna Louise Day in South Boston, Massachusetts, the third child and only daughter of William J. Day and Anna McCarron Day. Her father, a judge of the South Boston District Court and a successful lawyer, banker, and real estate investor, was one of South Boston’s most prominent citizens; her mother died when she was fourteen years old. Raised as a Roman Catholic, Louise graduated from the Nazareth School and studied home economics at Simmons College before earning an education degree at the Wheelock School in 1938. For two years she taught in the Brookline public schools, then she became a clerk in her father’s law office. She married John Hicks, an engineer, in 1942, and had two sons....

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Ruth Hanna McCormick. With her children Katrina and John. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-108593).

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McCormick, Ruth Hanna (27 March 1880–31 December 1944), congresswoman and political leader, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of Marcus Alonzo “Mark” Hanna, a businessman and politician, and Charlotte Augusta Rhodes. In 1896 Mark Hanna, Republican national chairman, managed William McKinley’s presidential campaign, in which Ruth participated. Hanna was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1897, and Ruth worked as his private secretary on Capitol Hill. Her marriage in 1903 to ...

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Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-25815 DLC).

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Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy (28 July 1929–19 May 1994), First Lady and cultural icon, was born in East Hampton, Long Island, New York, the daughter of John “Black Jack” Bouvier, an independently wealthy stock speculator, and Janet Lee. Jacqueline’s father was a scion of the wealthy and respected Bouvier family. A notorious playboy, he lost most of his inherited wealth in the Great Depression, shortly after Jacqueline’s birth. In 1936 the combination of his infidelities and financial irresponsibility resulted in his separation and later divorce from Jacqueline’s mother....

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Priest, Ivy Maude Baker (07 September 1905–23 June 1975), political and governmental official, was born in Kimberly, Utah, the daughter of Orange Decatur Baker, a miner, and Clara Fernley. The family moved in 1911 to Bingham Canyon, where her mother became active in local political affairs. Through her mother, Ivy became interested in politics. As a teenage Republican worker in Bingham she tended children and ran errands for voters at election time....

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Eleanor Roosevelt Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-25812 DLC).

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Roosevelt, Eleanor (11 October 1884–07 November 1962), first lady of the United States, social reformer, politician, diplomat, was born Anna Eleanor Roosevelt in New York City, the daughter of Elliott Roosevelt and Anna Hall. Her childhood was materially comfortable—both sides of her family were wealthy and prominent in New York society—but it was also emotionally arid. Her mother, beautiful but distant and so disappointed in the looks of her daughter that she called her “granny,” died when Eleanor was eight. Her youngest brother died the following year. She clung to her father, the younger brother of ...