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Cohen, Gertrude (1913-2016)



  • Existence: 1913 - 2016


Gertrude Siegel was born on November 1, 1913 in Chicago, Illinois. Siegel graduated from North High School in Minneapolis, and continued her education at the University of Minnesota where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology in 1934. In 1936, Siegel married New Yorker Ben Cohen; the couple moved to Waterloo, Iowa in 1941. The Cohens had two children, a son Loren, and a daughter Devra (later Devra Marcus).

In 1965 Gertrude Cohen became the first Jewish woman elected to the Iowa Legislature. Cohen served a term (1965-1966) in the Iowa House of Representatives as a Democrat from Black Hawk county. Cohen served on the House Committees of Education, Industrial and Human Relations, and Public Health. Cohen has also been active in a variety of civic, political, and religious organizations. Gertrude Cohen passed away in 2016.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

A Political Dialogue: Iowa's Women Legislators oral histories

Identifier: IWA0089

Interviews with Iowa women legislators conducted by Suzanne O'Dea Schenken.

Dates: 1988-1993

Gertrude Cohen papers

Identifier: IWA0358

Member of the Iowa House of Representatives, 1965-1966, and the first Jewish woman elected to the Iowa Legislature.

Dates: 1964-1991

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1981-1990 1
1991-2000 1
20th century 1
African American women -- Iowa 1
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