Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Oveta Culp Hobby
Oveta Culp Hobby (January 19, 1905 – August 16, 1995) was the first secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, first commanding officer of the Women's Army Corps, and chairman of the board of the Houston Post . She was born in Killeen, Texas. She received her undergraduate degree from Mary Hardin Baylor College for Women and her law degree from the University of Texas in 1925. In 1931 she was married to William P. Hobby, the former Governor of Texas and the publisher of the Houston Post.
During World War II she headed the War Department's Women's Interest Section for a short time and then became the Director of the Women's Air Auxiliary Corps , which was created to fill gaps left by a shortage of men. The Air Corp's were the first women other than nurses to be in uniform. Hobby achieved the rank of Colonel and received the Distinguished Service Medal for efforts during the war. President Dwight D. Eisenhower named her head of the Federal Security Agency , a non-cabinet post though she was invited to sit in on cabinet meetings. On April 11, 1953, she became the first secretary of the new Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. This was her second time to organize a new branch of the government.
In 1955 Mrs. Hobby resumed her position with the Houston Post as president and editor, and care for her husband whose was in failing health. She went on to serve on many boards and advisory positions with various civic and business institutions around the country. She died in 1995, in Houston, and was buried at Glenwood Cemetery.
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