Mary Emma Miller (Guffey) (1874 - 1970)

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Death: Died
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About Mary Emma Miller (Guffey)

Member, Democratic National Committee. Served in National politics for 44 years and was oldest member of DNC at her death.

Emma (Guffey) Miller, Democratic Party leader, was born Mary Emma Guffey at Guffey Station, Pa., on July 6, 1874, the daughter of Barbaretta (Hough) and John Guffey. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College with an A.B. in history and political science in 1899. While traveling in Japan (1902) she met and married Carroll Miller (1875-1949). EGM's letters to her family recount their courtship and marriage and the birth of their first child, William Gardner Miller, III. Twin sons, John Guffey and Carroll Jr., were born in 1908, son Joseph F. in 1912.

Active politically since her college days, EGM campaigned for Democratic candidates in 1920; in 1924 she was elected a delegate to the national convention, where, in a seconding speech for Alfred E. Smith, she appealed for religious tolerance and denounced the Ku Klux Klan. As a result, EGM received one-half vote for the presidential nomination, the first woman ever to do so.

She helped organize the Pennsylvania Federation of Democratic Women, and spoke out for prohibition reform; her advocacy of disarmament forced her resignation from the Daughters of the American Revolution.

In 1932 she was elected Democratic National Committeewoman from Pennsylvania, a post she held until her death.

During the 1930s and 40s she also served as official hostess for her brother, Joseph F. Guffey, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania (1935-1947). EGM remained in the background of political life, never running for nor accepting public office herself, though she felt strongly about women's right to do both. She was an active member of the National Woman's Party (Chairman, 1960-1965, and Life President, 1965-1970), and an outspoken advocate of the Equal Rights Amendment.

EGM died of a heart attack on February 23, 1970, and is buried with her husband in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Va.

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