Historical records matching Emily Taft Douglas
About Emily Douglas (Taft)
Emily Taft Douglas (April 19, 1899 — January 28, 1994) was a Democratic Party politician from the U.S. state of Illinois. She served as a U.S. Representative at-large from 1945 until 1947 and was married to U.S. Senator Paul Douglas from 1931 until his death in 1976. She was the first female Democrat elected to Congress from Illinois, and her election made Illinois one of the first two states (the other was California) to have been represented by female House members from both parties.
Douglas was born in Chicago, Illinois to sculptor Lorado Taft and his wife Ada Bartlett Taft. Douglas graduated from the University of Chicago Laboratory School and then the University of Chicago with honors in French. She was a working actress for two years before going to work for the League of Women Voters in 1924. She married University of Chicago economics professor Paul Douglas in 1931.
While vacationing in Italy in 1935, the Douglases witnessed the aftermath of Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia. The experience convinced them that the forces of fascism represented a grave threat to the United States. Both Douglases became involved in Illinois state and local politics in the years leading up to World War II. After the outbreak of the war, Paul Douglas enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942. Emily Taft Douglas ran for the Illinois at-large congressional seat in 1944, defeating Republican incumbent Stephen A. Day. Day was a member of the isolationist wing of the Republican Party.
Douglas authored several books, including: Appleseed Farm (1948), Remember the ladies; The story of great women who helped shape America (1966), and Margaret Sanger; Pioneer of the Future (1969).