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Educator - State Governor - Mint Director ---------Who was she?

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edited January 26, 2024 5:54AM in U.S. Coin Forum

She was Nellie Davis Ross

Nellie Davis Ross (née Tayloe; November 29, 1876 – December 19, 1977) was an American educator and politician who served as the 14th governor of Wyoming from 1925 to 1927, and as the 28th and first female director of the United States Mint from 1933 to 1953. She was the first woman to serve as governor of a U.S. state, and remains the only woman to have served as governor of Wyoming


Ross, as seen on her Mint medal designed by Chief Engraver John R. Sinnock

Appointment by FDR
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Ross as director of the U.S. Mint on May 3, 1933, making her the first woman to hold that position. Ross and the Mint's Assistant Director Mary Margaret O'Reilly, "the Sweetheart of the Treasury" who had worked at the Mint since 1904, had mutual suspicions to overcome. Ross, who had endured poor relations with Eleanor Roosevelt and others on FDR's campaign, did not trust the career staff. O'Reilly saw another political appointee with no experience at the Mint Bureau replacing Robert J. Grant, who had been Denver Mint superintendent before his directorship. After a brief period, the two women came to appreciate each other's merits.

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