Biographical / Historical
Leonor Kretzer Sullivan (born August 21, 1902 in St. Louis, Missouri), was a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives and was the first woman in Congress from Missouri. Sullivan attended Washington University in St. Louis. She became a teacher and director at St. Louis Comptometer School. She was married to Congressman John B. Sullivan and served as his administrative aide. Following her husband's death in 1951, she served as an aide to Congressman Leonard Irving.
In 1952, Sullivan ran for Congress herself and was subsequently re-elected eleven times. In Congress, she served for many years as Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus. Congressional committees served included the Subcommittee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries (chairman), Banking and Currency Committee, Housing Subcommittee, International Trade Subcommittee, Consumer Affairs Subcommittee (chairman), and Joint Committee on Defense Production.
Sullivan helped create the food stamp program which was opposed by Agriculture Secretary Ezra Taft Benson and became law in the 1960s during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.
Sullivan was one of very few members of Congress, and the only woman member of Congress, to vote against the Equal Rights Amendment for women in the early 1970s.
She did not seek re-election in 1976.
In 1979, Sullivan was featured in the Supersisters trading card set. The former Wharf Street in front of the Gateway Arch in downtown St. Louis was renamed Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard in her honor.
Sullivan died in St. Louis on September 1, 1988.
Source: Wikipedia, URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonor_Sullivan