Jane Addams

Laura Jane Addams[1] (September 6, 1860  May 21, 1935) was an American settlement activist, reformer, social worker,[2][3] sociologist,[4] public administrator,[5][6] and author. She was an important leader in the history of social work and women's suffrage in the United States.[7] Addams co-founded Chicago's Hull House, one of America's most famous settlement houses, providing extensive social services to poor, largely immigrant families. In 1910, Addams was awarded an honorary master of arts degree from Yale University, becoming the first woman to receive an honorary degree from the school.[8] In 1920, she was a co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).[9]

Jane Addams
Addams c.1926
Born
Laura Jane Addams

(1860-09-06)September 6, 1860
DiedMay 21, 1935(1935-05-21) (aged 74)
EducationRockford Female Seminary
Occupations
  • Social worker and political activist
  • author and lecturer
  • community organizer
  • public intellectual
Parent
Relatives
AwardsNobel Peace Prize (1931)
Signature
Portrait of Jane Addams, from a Charcoal drawing by Alice Kellogg Tyler of 1892. Source Addams: Twenty Years at Hull House (1910), p. 114

An advocate for world peace and recognized as the founder of the social work profession in the United States, in 1931 Addams became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.[10] She was a radical pragmatist and arguably the first woman "public philosopher" in the United States.[11] In the Progressive Era, when presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson identified themselves as reformers and social activists, Addams was one of the most prominent reformers.[12] She helped America address and focus on issues that were of concern to mothers, such as the needs of children, local public health, and world peace. In her essay "Utilization of Women in City Government", Addams noted the connection between the workings of government and the household, stating that many departments of government, such as sanitation and the schooling of children, could be traced back to traditional women's roles in the private sphere.[13] When Addams died in 1935, she was the best-known female public figure in the United States.[14]


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