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Faye Wattleton was born on this date in 1943. She is a Black administrator, feminist, and activist.
She is from St. Louis, Missouri, where her father, George Wattleton, was a factory worker. Her mother, Ozzie Wattleton, was a seamstress and a minister in the Church of God. Young Wattleton graduated from high school at 16 and began attending Ohio State. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing in 1964. She entered Columbia University in 1966, getting her Master of Science degree in maternal and infant care, with certification as a nurse-midwife, in 1967.
Wattleton married Frank Gordon at the end of August 1972. By January 1975, she found out that she was pregnant. On October 20, 1975, Wattleton gave birth to her daughter, Felicia Megan Gordon.
From 1978 to 1992, she was the youngest person and first woman named to the presidency of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She played a major role in defining the national debate over reproductive rights and health and shaping family planning policies and programs worldwide. Among her many honors is the National Mother’s Day Committee Outstanding Mother and the Jefferson Award for the Greatest Public Service Performed by a Private Citizen. Other honors include the American Public Health Association’s Award of Excellence; the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Humanitarian Award; the Independent Sector’s John Gardner Award; the Women’s Honors in Public Service from the American Nurses Association; the American Humanist Award, and twelve honorary doctoral degrees.
In 1992, Wattleton received the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award from the Mailman School of Public Health. Planned Parenthood Federation of America honored her with its Margaret Sanger Award, and in 1993, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Ms. Wattleton presently serves on the boards of directors of the Estée Lauder Companies, Quidel Corporation, Bio-Technology General Corporation, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the Eisenhower Fellowships, the Institute for International Education, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the United Nations Association of the United States of America.
Additionally, Wattleton is the president of the Center for Gender Equality, nonprofit research, policy development, and education institution created in 1995 to advance women’s equality and full participation in society. Currently, she is president of the Center for the Advancement of Women.
In 2017, Wattleton Co-Founded EeroQ Quantum Computing.
I Dream A World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America
Edited by Barbara Summers
Photos and Interviews by Brian lanker
Copyright 1989, Workman Publishing