Edith Somborn Isaacs

June 18, 1884–May 7, 1978

by Elisabeth Israels Perry

Edith Somborn Isaacs (1884-1978).
Courtesy of Barnard College.

In Brief

Edith Somborn Isaacs made an impact on New York City both through her own volunteerism and by successfully running the public office campaigns of her husband, Stanley M. Isaacs. Throughout Stanley’s political career, Edith wrote jingles, trained volunteers, and collaborated on newspaper articles and ad copy for him, later writing Love Affair with a City: The Story of Stanley M. Isaacs. Edith served on the board of the Women’s City Club of New York, the New York Service for the Handicapped, the Barnard Committee on Development, and the Phi Beta Kappa Alumnae Association.

Article

Edith Somborn Isaacs was a volunteer in New York City’s political, philanthropic, and cultural life.

She was born in New York City on June 18, 1884. After graduating from Barnard College, in 1910 she married Stanley M. Isaacs, with whom she had two children, Myron (b. 1911) and Helen (nicknamed Casey, b. 1913). When Stanley Isaacs ran for office (he served as Manhattan borough president from 1938 through 1941, and later as Republican minority leader on the City Council), Edith Isaacs ran his campaigns. She described her work as writing clever jingles for him, “corralling and instructing volunteers, drafting letters to constituents, working with experts on newspaper articles and advertising, and after the election, writing letters of thanks to all who helped.”

Barnard College produced one of her plays, and in 1954 she chaired the college’s annual alumnae campaign. She was the author of Love Affair with a City: The Story of Stanley M. Isaacs (1967). An active member of the Women’s City Club of New York, she served on its board for thirty years and as a president. She was also a board member of the New York Service for the Handicapped, the Barnard Committee on Development, and the Phi Beta Kappa Alumnae Association, and a trustee of the Bank Street College of Education.

Edith Somborn Isaacs died on May 7, 1978.

Bibliography

Herrick, Casey Isaacs. Interview with author.

Isaacs, Edith S. Love Affair with a City: The Story of Stanley M. Isaacs (1967).

NYTimes, passim, 1944–1978.

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How to cite this page

Perry, Elisabeth Israels. "Edith Somborn Isaacs." Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women. 31 December 1999. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on February 28, 2024) <http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/isaacs-edith-somborn>.