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Ruth Bryan Owen Taking the oath of office as the first woman envoy of the U.S. Foreign Service, administered by P. F. Allen of the State Department, 1933. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-108591).

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Rohde, Ruth Bryan Owen (02 October 1885–26 July 1954), congresswoman, diplomat, lecturer, and author, was born in Jacksonville, Illinois, the daughter of William Jennings Bryan, a lawyer, and Mary Elizabeth Baird. When Ruth was two, the family moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, and then to Washington, D.C., three years later, when her father was elected to Congress. Young Ruth became “the sweetheart of the House” as she sat with her father during fierce tariff debates (Ramsey, ...

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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 ...