This website is made possible by generous donations from users just like you. $18 helps keep JWA online for one day. Please consider making a gift to JWA today!
Close [x]

You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Lillian Ruth Kessler

Lillian Ruth Kessler created a major export company for automobile parts and heavy industrial and military equipment, making her a pioneer in a business that had been exclusively male territory. Kessler’s lifetime of “firsts” began with her role as president (and only female member) of her high school debate team. After graduating from Western Reserve University in 1929 she taught history in Cleveland’s public schools before returning to graduate studies at Western Reserve. She served as director of the Historical Records Survey in Ohio and co-edited an anthology called Songs of Yesterday in 1941. By 1943 she was an archivist at the Library of Congress, studying discontinued projects of the WPA. In 1947 she moved into the business world, creating Kessler International Corporation, which manufactured spare parts for American–built trucks, jeeps, and tanks overseas, eventually branching out into electronics, navigational equipment, and road–and–dam building supplies. She regularly travelled to volatile countries like Pakistan, Iran, and South Korea to work with clients, and the company remained successful even after health problems forced her to retire in the 1970s.

More on Lillian Ruth Kessler
0 Comments
Date of Birth
March 15, 1908
Place of Birth
Cleveland, Ohio
Date of Death
September 18, 1993

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Lillian Ruth Kessler." (Viewed on December 11, 2017) <https://jwa.org/people/kessler-lillian>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

listen now

Sign Up for JWA eNews

 

Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs