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Belle Moskowitz

Belle Moskowitz gained considerable power and influence as New York Governor Alfred E. Smith’s closest advisor by offering him her complete loyalty and support through his gubernatorial work and his 1928 presidential campaign. Moskowitz taught drama and directed entertainment events at a settlement house called the Education Alliance before working as an editor for the social reform journal The Survey. In 1911, widowed with small children, she worked settling grievances for the Dress and Waist Manufacturers Association, becoming head of the labor department. In 1918, she organized the women’s vote for Governor Smith and suggested he create a post-war Reconstruction Commission for the state’s industry. He appointed her secretary of the commission and later publicity director for the State Democratic Committee, where she wrote his speeches and edited his papers as well as head-hunting talent for posts he wanted to fill. Beginning in 1924, she coordinated publicity and correspondence for his presidential campaign, creating a network of support that helped win the primary in 1928 and, after his loss, a second bid for president in 1932 against FDR.

Moskowitz, Belle - still image [media]
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Belle Moskowitz exercised a level of power in the political realm unprecedented for women in her time. When Alfred Smith ran for president in 1928, she was by far the most powerful woman in the national Democratic Party.

Institution: The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, OH, www.americanjewisharchives.org and World Wide Studio, NY.

Date of Birth
October 5, 1877
Place of Birth
Harlem, New York
Date of Death
January 2, 1933

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Belle Moskowitz." (Viewed on October 25, 2014) <http://jwa.org/people/moskowitz-belle>.

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