Ross, Nellie

Ross, Nellie (b. Tayloe)

(?1876–1977) governor; born in St. Joseph, Mo. A housewife, she became the first woman governor in U.S. history (Dem., Wyo.; 1925–27), gaining election after her husband died in midterm. (She was inaugurated two weeks before “Ma” Ferguson in Texas.) She remained active in Democratic politics afterward, and was appointed director of the U.S. Bureau of the Mint (1933–53), again becoming the first woman to hold that office, and becoming the first woman to have her likeness on a mint medal. She expanded the bureau's operations, building the mints at Fort Knox, West Point, and San Francisco. After leaving that office she wrote about politics for women's magazines.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.