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Caroline Klein Simon

Caroline Klein Simon fought for gender and racial equality and made the first laws against real estate brokers using “blockbusting” tactics to force sales of homes. Finding after she graduated NYU Law School in 1925 that no one would hire a married Jewish woman lawyer, Simon volunteered for the League of Women Voters and the National Council of Jewish Women, among other organizations. She successfully led campaigns to place women on juries and reform the Women’s Court of New York, ensuring that people could only enter the court if they had legitimate business, not just to leer at women in trouble. In 1935, she finally found paid work as executive director of the New York State Council of Jewish Women and in 1939 became editor of the Birth Control Review. In 1945, she became the only woman member of the State Commission Against Discrimination, helping draft state laws, and she was named to the State Youth Commission in 1956. In 1959, she became Secretary of State of New York, where she continued her efforts to prevent racial and gender discrimination. In 1963, she was appointed a judge of the New York Court of Claims, serving for eight years.

Simon, Caroline - still image [media]
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Though she claimed she was not a feminist, attorney and later judge Caroline Klein Simon said that for a woman to succeed she "must look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, and work like a dog." Her hard work was evident in her long career as a politician and public servant.

The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, OH, www.americanjewisharchives.org

Date of Birth
November 12, 1900
Place of Birth
New York, New York
Date of Death
June 29, 1993

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Caroline Klein Simon." (Viewed on July 28, 2014) <http://jwa.org/people/simon-caroline>.

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