Grace Abbott was born in Grand Island, Nebraska, in 1878. After graduating from Grand Island College in 1898, she received a master’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago. Abbott remained in Chicago, working for immigrant rights, until 1917, when she moved to Washington, D.C., and joined the U.S. Department of Labor’s Children’s Bureau. In 1921 she was the first woman to hold a cabinet-level post when President Warren G. Harding appointed her director of the Children’s Bureau. There, Abbott worked tirelessly for legislation to protect children from child labor abuses. In 1931 Grace Abbott received this medal from the National Institute of Social Sciences for her service as director of the Children’s Bureau and for the bureau’s contributions to the welfare of America’s children.
Source: Charlotte E. Abbott (10046-7)