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Clark, Catherine Taft (31 December 1906–02 May 1986), business executive, was born in Whitewater, Wisconsin, the daughter of Warren G. Taft, a machinist, and Louise West. Taft attended public schools in Whitewater, but as her father died when she was a child, she was unable to attend college. Instead, at nineteen she took a job as secretary to the local college president, where she claimed to learn as much as a formally enrolled student. From there, Milwaukee was her next stop; she worked at Schuster’s, a major department store, where she gained experience in retailing and marketing....

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Rudkin, Margaret Fogarty (14 September 1897–01 June 1967), bakery executive, was born in New York City, the daughter of Joseph Fogarty, a trucker, and Margaret Healey. She attended public schools, and on graduating from high school, she was hired as a bookkeeper at a bank in Flushing, Queens. She left the bank after four years to join the brokerage firm of McClure, Jones & Company in New York City as a “customer’s woman” (account service representative), a position she held for four years. In 1923 she married Henry Albert Rudkin, one of the partners in the firm. The couple continued to live in New York City until 1929, when, with the money Henry Rudkin had made on Wall Street, they built a mansion on a 125-acre estate in Fairfield County, Connecticut, that they named “Pepperidge Farm.”...