Dewson, Margaret Williams

   Born in Quincy, Massachusetts, Molly Dewson graduated from Wellesley College in 1897 and joined the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union in Boston. She became an active campaigner to establish a minimum wage for women in Boston. From 1919 until 1924 Dewson was the research secretary for the National Consumers’ League and worked with Felix Frankfurter in preparing arguments in favor of minimum wages for women in the 1920s. From 1924 until 1931 she was president of the New York Consumers’ League, and through her activities she befriended Eleanor Roosevelt. She supported Alfred E. Smith’s campaign in 1928 and Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932. As head of the Women’s Division of the Democratic National Committee from 1933 until 1937, Dewson worked to increase the representation of women in the Democratic Party and did much to mobilize support among female voters. She also supported the appointment of Frances Perkins as secretary of labor and was involved in drafting the Social Security Act. In 1937, Dewson became a member of the Social Security Board but retired in 1938 due to ill-health.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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