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US Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins: Background information when reading Becoming Madam Secretary

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Becoming Madam Secretary

by Stephanie Dray

Becoming Madam Secretary by Stephanie Dray X
Becoming Madam Secretary by Stephanie Dray
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    Mar 2024, 528 pages


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US Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins

This article relates to Becoming Madam Secretary

Frances Perkins on the cover of Time magazineBecoming Madam Secretary by Stephanie Dray narrates the life of Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the first woman to serve in the US Cabinet. Perkins was a tireless supporter of workers' rights and is credited with drafting and lobbying support for some of the most critical parts of the New Deal.

Frances Perkins was born in Boston in 1880 and grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts. She attended college at Mount Holyoke where she studied economic history and was inspired by Jacob Riis's account of life in New York City's slums, How the Other Half Lives. She toured factories and interviewed workers to get a sense of the conditions and the issues that mattered to them. From Mount Holyoke, Perkins moved on to Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at University of Pennsylvania, and then Columbia University, where she earned a master's degree in economics and sociology.

After acquiring her degree in 1910, Perkins worked with social ...

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