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Lillie Steinhorn

“One morning, all of a sudden, I thought to myself, 'Lil, April the 28th you're going to have 65 years working for the government—and May the 26th you're going to be 89 years old. Quit!' And I came into work that day and we had a staff meeting and I announced it. And they told me I was number one, the longest-working federal employee!” – Lillie Steinhorn

With 65 years of government service, Lillie Steinhorn holds the national record for being the longest employed federal employee. Born in Baltimore in 1911, she has lived there her entire life, except for a brief period during the 1930s when she lived in Washington, D.C. She graduated from high school in 1930 and worked at temporary jobs until 1935, when she began work as a clerk-typist for the federal government. She continued to work in a variety of jobs, including cardpunch operator and statistician, mostly with the Social Security Administration, until her retirement in 2000 at age 89. Lillie never married and continued to live at home with her parents, whom she cared for as they grew older. Throughout her life, she has been close to her brother and sister and has maintained a special relationship with her niece and nephews. She was active in B'nai B'rith Women, has traveled extensively, and enjoys the theater. In her 90s, Lillie remains devoted to her family, works out at the gym, and enjoys her new home in a retirement community.

More on: Civil Service
Lillie Steinhorn
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Lillie Steinhorn.
Photo courtesy of Joan Roth.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Lillie Steinhorn." (Viewed on January 22, 2018) <>.


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