Frances Perkins

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Perkins, Frances

Perkins, Frances, 1882–1965, U.S. Secretary of Labor (1933–45), b. Boston. She worked at Hull House, was executive secretary of the New York Consumers' League (1910–12) and of the New York Committee on Safety (1912–17), and directed (1912–13) investigations for the New York state factory commission. She became an authority on industrial hazards and hygiene and began lobbying in Albany for more comprehensive factory laws and for maximum-hour laws for women. Gov. Alfred E. Smith appointed (1923) her to the New York State Industrial Board, and later she served (1926–29) as its chairman. Gov. Franklin Delano Roosevelt named her (1929) industrial commissioner of New York state to direct the enforcement of factory and labor laws. As President, Roosevelt appointed her U.S. Secretary of Labor—the first appointment of a woman to the U.S. cabinet. Her appointment was bitterly criticized by business, labor, and political leaders. As Secretary of Labor, she promoted adoption of the Social Security Act, advocated higher wages, urged legislation to alleviate industrial strife, and helped standardize state industrial legislation. After she resigned, she served (1946–52) as a member of the U.S. Civil Service Commission. Besides books on labor problems, she wrote The Roosevelt I Knew (1946).
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Perkins, Frances (b. Fannie Coiralie Perkins)

(1880–1965) cabinet member; born in Boston, Mass. Graduating from Mount Holyoke College (1902), she taught, worked in settlement houses, and came to favor a greater role for the federal government in aiding the poor. Soon after earning a graduate degree in political science from Columbia University, she witnessed the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire (1911) that killed 146 factory workers; the event further inspired her crusade for safe working conditions and other labor reforms. She won passage of landmark labor legislation as New York State industrial commissioner (1926–32). As longtime U.S. labor secretary and the first woman member of a federal cabinet (1932–45), she helped develop major New Deal reforms, including Social Security (1935) and a federal Fair Labor Standards Act that imposed a minimum wage (1938). She later served on the Civil Service Commission (1946–53) and taught at Cornell (from 1957).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
Note that within the pamphlet, the receiving of social security checks is referred to as a "right." This is consistent with Frances Perkins's words in her speech to the American people.
Mark Raynor Fleetwood, Lancs ?I AGREE with Frances Perkins (Letters, Aug 30).
Frankfurter worked with Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins to try to construct possible executive orders that might get around limits on refugees.
Elias Hill, a South Carolina black preacher and teacher, describes Klan violence to Congress in 1871; a Texas Ranger recounts white and Mexican lawlessness along the Texas-Mexico border; late nineteenth-century domestic servants describe their unsatisfying experiences; a Pinkerton man recalls the savage strife at Carnegie's Homestead plant in 1892; a doughboy writes of combat at the front in 1918; African-American Stanley Norvell responds to the 1919 Chicago race riot; desperate mothers plead to Margaret Sanger for birth control information; ordinary working citizens write to Frances Perkins and Franklin D.
Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins wrote an essay to make the case for a federal minimum wage.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford New Jim Crow, by Michele Alexander (now in paperback) Pray the Devil Back to Hell (video about the women of Liberia and the peace process) Sister Citizen, by Melissa Harris Perry The Sorrows of Empire, by Chamblers Johnson Under the Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson Walking for Our Lives, by Donna Rankin Love War Isn't Over When It's Over, by Ann Jones When the World Outlawed War, by David Swanson The Woman Behind the New Deal: the Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins, by Kristin Downey Wired for War, by P.W.
She left the Post to finish "The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience," which was inspired by work she did during her Nieman year and published in 2009 by Doubleday.
The throngs of young women who see a role model in Baby admire, no doubt, her apparent poisenamed after Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary of Labor and the first woman to serve in the U.S.
Frances Perkins, a witness to the Triangle Fire, created and ran a Committee on Safety, which led to a New York State investigative commission and the passage of 26 factory safety laws within a few years.
This was a year after President Roosevelt appointed Frances Perkins as Secretary of Labor, the first woman to hold a Cabinet post.
Wage and Hour Division, Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington DC 20210; call toll-free, 1 (866) 4-USWAGE (487-9243); or send an email via