...Barbara Alice Ringer was born May 29, 1925, in Lafayette, Ind., and was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of George Washington University in 1945. She earned a master's degree at George Washington in 1947, then went to Columbia as one of the few women in her law school class.Click through for the whole obituary.
In 1971, after 22 years at the Library of Congress, Ringer was passed over for the job of register of copyrights, the nation's top copyright position. She had stellar performance reviews and had held the office's No. 2 position for five years, but the post went to a man.
Ringer filed a job discrimination suit, then moved to Paris for two years to work for the United Nations.
A federal hearing examiner found "a consistent pattern of discrimination" and concluded that Ringer had been wrongfully denied the position because she was a woman and because she was a vocal proponent of promoting African Americans at the library. In 1973, a federal judge ordered that Ringer be installed as the register of copyrights. She was the first woman to hold the job.
This was less than forty years ago.
Purple felt cloche tipped to reader Alex for emailing me about this.