(born April 10, 1882, Boston, Mass., U.S.—died May 14, 1965, New York, N.Y.) U.S. public official. She became a social worker in New York City and a leader in organizations aiming to improve working conditions for women. From 1929 to 1933 she served as state industrial commissioner under New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt. As president, Roosevelt appointed her U.S. secretary of labor; she thereby became the first woman to hold a U.S. cabinet post. In her long term of office (1933–45) she advocated reforms such as a minimum wage, a maximum workweek, and unemployment compensation; she also helped draft the Social Security Act and supervised the Fair Labor Standards Act (1938). She was later a U.S. Civil Service commissioner (1945–53).
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