Female Firsts - Tucson Local Media: Women In Business

Female Firsts

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Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 4:00 am

1775 - Mary Katharine Goddard

First female postmaster (Baltimore, 1775). First printer to offer copies of the Declaration of Independence that included the signers’ names (1777)

1795 - Anne Parrish

Established the first charitable organization for women in America (The House of Industry, Philadelphia 1795)

1809 - Mary Kies

First woman to receive a patent (weaving straw and silk together, 1809) praised for boosting the nation’s hat industry.

1849 - Elizabeth Blackwell

First U.S. woman to receive a medical degree. (1849)

1869 - Arabella Mansfield Babb

First woman admitted to the bar. (1869)

1871 - Frances Elizabeth Willard

First woman to become a college president. (Evanston College, 1871)

1877 - Helen Magill Wright

First woman to receive a Ph.D. in the U.S. (Boston University, 1877)

1917 - Kate Gleason

First female president of a national bank (1917) also, first woman to be admitted to study engineering at Cornell University, but didn’t complete her education. First woman elected to full membership in the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (1914). Appointed President of the First National Bank of East Rochester while the previous president enlisted in WWI (1918).

1934 - Lettie Pate Whitehead

First American woman to serve on the board of directors of a major corporation. (The Coca-Cola Company, 1934)

1967 - Muriel Siebert

First woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange (1967).

1972 - Juanita Kreps

First female director of the New York Stock Exchange (1972). First female Secretary of Commerce (1977-1979).

1972 - Katharine Graham

First female CEO of a Fortune 500 company (The Washington Post Co. 1972)

1997 - Amy Trask

First female CEO in professional football (Oakland Raiders CEO)


First year that more women than men receive bachelors and

master’s degrees. (National Center for Education Statistics)

Masters: 141,004 & 139,417

Bachelors: 492,163 & 476,148

2010 - Monisha Kaltenborn Narang

First female CEO of a Formula 1 team (2010)


1872 - Victoria Claflin Woodhull

First female presidential candidate (1872) Equal Rights Party. She and her sister were the first women to found a newspaper, Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly. She was arrested on charges of obscenity days before the election for publishing an account of the alleged affair between Henry Ward Beecher and Elizabeth Tilton. She did not receive any electoral votes.

1887 - Susanna Madora Salter

First U.S. woman mayor (Argonia, Kansas, 1887)

1917 - Jeannette Rankin

First woman in Congress (1917) Served in the House of Representatives 1917-1919 and 1941-1943. Republican from Montana.

1931 - Hattie Wyatt Caraway

First woman elected to the U.S. Senate (Democrat, Arkansas, 1931-1945)

1933 - Frances Perkins

First female member of a Presidential Cabinet (Secretary of Labor, 1933). Served as chairwoman of the President’s Committee on Economic Security. Involved in the reports and hearings that ultimately resulted in the Social Security Act of 1935.

1970 - Elizabeth Hoisington

First female brigadier general of the U.S. Army (1970).

1981 - Sandra Day O’Connor

First female Supreme Court Justice (1981) nominated by Reagan, received unanimous Senate approval.

1988 - Rose Mofford

First female governor of Arizona. (1988-1991)

1964 - Margaret Chase Smith

First woman nominated for President by a major political party. (Republican National Convention, 1964). U.S. Representative (1940-1949), U.S. Senator (1949-1973).  Lost every primary election. “I have few illusions and no money, but I’m staying for the finish.”

1997 - Madeleine K. Albright

First female Secretary of State (1997) Appointed by Clinton Dec. 5, 1996. Unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

2006 - Effa Manley

First woman elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame (2006). She was co-owner and business manager of the Newark Eagles. (1936-1948)

2008 - Hillary Clinton

First woman to win a Presidential Primary Contest (NH Democratic Primary, 2008).

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