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Hammond, Johnie, 1932-

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1932-

Johnie Wright Hammond, a Democratic state representative and senator in the Iowa legislature, was born in 1932 in Eupora, Mississippi, to John D. and Eunice Scogin Wright. John Wright, a mechanic, was killed in a train accident on the same day as Johnie Wright's birth. After her husband's death, Eunice Wright moved with her three daughters from Mississippi to Texas to live with her grandfather, with whom Johnie Wright became very close. Wright attended elementary school in Clarkwood, Texas, and high school in both Robstown and Pleasanton, Texas, graduating in 1949. She then attended the University of Texas for two years and considered majoring in home economics. During this time, she met her future husband, Earl Hammond, at the University where he was completing an MA in chemistry. After marrying in 1951, the couple moved to Minnesota where they both attended the University of Minnesota. In 1953, Earl Hammond completed a PhD in agricultural biochemistry and Johnie Hammond finished her BA in sociology. The couple then moved to Ames, Iowa, where Earl Hammond joined the faculty of Iowa Agricultural College (now Iowa State University). The Hammonds had four children, Bruce, Linda, Pamela and Christopher.

In Ames, Hammond became active in many different organizations. She began to volunteer at the Ames First Baptist Church in the 1950s. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Hammond worked on many different anti-poverty programs and served as an advocate for local women on welfare through the Aid to Dependent Children Council. She joined the League of Women Voters in 1969 and helped found the Committee for Criminal Justice (later called the Center for Creative Justice) in 1972. In 1974, Hammond was elected to the Story County Board of Supervisors, where she served one four-year term. Hammond returned to school and received a BBA in management from Iowa State University in 1981 and also graduated from the Mercy-Harvard Executive Program in Health Policy and Management in 1983. In 1982, Hammond was elected the first woman to represent her district in the Iowa House of Representatives. She served in the House for twelve years, and her positions included vice-chair of the State Government Committee, chair of Health and Human Rights Appropriations, and chair and ranking member of Human Services Appropriations. In 1994, Hammond was elected to the Iowa Senate and served two four-year terms, where she worked on the Appropriations, Education, Human Resources, Judiciary, and Labor Committees. Hammond advocated for health care, prison reform, women's and family issues, welfare and labor rights during her legislative career. Hammond retired from the Iowa Senate in 2003.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

A Political Dialogue: Iowa's Women Legislators oral histories

 Collection
Identifier: IWA0089
Abstract Interviews with Iowa women legislators conducted by Suzanne O'Dea Schenken.
Dates: 1988-1993

Johnie Hammond papers

 Collection
Identifier: IWA0563
Abstract Democratic representative and senator in the Iowa legislature.
Dates: 1970-2006