Ruth Sears Pratt

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Ruth Sears Pratt (Baker)

Birthdate: (87)
Birthplace: Ware, MA, USA
Death: August 23, 1965 (87)
Manor House, Glen Cove, NY, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Edwin K. Baker and Carrie Virginia Baker
Wife of John Teele Pratt
Mother of John Teele Pratt, Jr.; Virginia Thayer; Phyllis Nitze; Edwin H. Baker Pratt and Sally Sears Pratt

Managed by: Private User
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About Ruth Sears Pratt

Ruth Baker Pratt (born Ruth Sears Baker) was a politician and the first congresswoman to be elected from New York.

She was born in Ware, Massachusetts, where her father was a dry-goods merchant, Edwin K. Baker. She studied at Wellesley College.

She was a member of the board of aldermen of New York City in 1925, being the first woman to serve; re-elected in 1927 and served until March 1, 1929. She was a member of the Republican National Committee 1929-1943; delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1924, 1932, 1936, 1940; delegate to the Republican State conventions in 1922, 1924, 1926, 1928, 1930, 1936, and 1938. She served as president of the Woman’s National Republican Club 1943-1946

She was elected as a Republican to the 71st and 72nd Congresses (1929 - 1933), being the first woman elected to Congress from New York, beating out her primary competitor Phelps Phelps.

Together with Reed Smoot, she introduced the Pratt-Smoot Act, passed by the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Herbert Hoover on March 3, 1931. The Act provided $100,000, to be administered by the Library of Congress, to provide blind adults with books. The program, which is known as Books for the Blind, has been heavily amended and expanded over the years, and remains in place today.

She died on 23 August, 1965 at the family house and estate, Manor House, Glen Cove, Long Island; she was one day shy of her 88th birthday. She was interred at the Pratt Family Mausoleum, Old Tappan Road, Glen Cove.


She married John Teele Pratt, a successful corporate attorney, philanthropist, music impresario, and financier.

Together, they had five children:

  1. John Teele Pratt Jr;
  2. Virginia Pratt (1905-1979), who married Robert H. Thayer;
  3. Phyllis Pratt (1912–1987) who married Paul Henry Nitze;
  4. Edwin H Baker Pratt (1913-1975); and
  5. Sally Pratt, who married James Jackson
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Ruth Sears Pratt's Timeline

August 24, 1877
Ware, MA, USA
December 11, 1903
Age 26
Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States
April 30, 1905
Age 27
New York, New York County, New York, United States
March 2, 1908
Age 30
March 26, 1912
Age 34
June 5, 1913
Age 35
Glen Cove, NY, USA
August 23, 1965
Age 87
Glen Cove, NY, USA