Categories: Windsor Locks, Connecticut | Hartford, Connecticut | Saint Marys Cemetery, Windsor Locks, Connecticut | US Representatives from Connecticut | Connecticut Governors | National Women's Hall of Fame (United States) | Connecticut Notables.
Thomas Joseph Meskill
|Ella T. Grasso
The family lived at 12 Olive Street in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. In 1920, her father's mother and brother were also living in the house with them. Her father's occupation is listed as a machinist. By 1930, her father had his own bakery.
Ella graduated from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts in 1940 majoring in economics and sociology. In 1942, she earned a Master's Degree from Mount Holyoke and married Thomas Grasso.
She first entered politics as a speechwriter for the Connecticut Democratic Party in 1943. She was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly in 1952 and served there until 1957. She became the first woman elected Floor Leader. She served as the Connecticut Secretary of State from 1959 to 1971, the longest serving Secretary of State since 1835. She served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing Connecticut's 6th District from 1971 to 1975.
In 1974, she ran for governor and became the first woman elected governor in her own right. In 1980, she was mentioned as a possible running mate in President Jimmy Carter's re-election campaign. However, she was diagnosed with cancer in March and resigned from office December 31, 1980. Lt. Governor William O'Neill was sworn in to succeed her.
She died on February 5, 1981 and is buried at Saint Mary's Cemetery in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.
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