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Women's Museum of California

Preserving the Past, Inspiring the Future

Remarkable Women of San Diego by Hannah S. Cohen and Dr. Gloria G. Harris

About the Book

San Diego enjoys a diverse legacy of formidable female leaders. Ellen Browning Scripps financed and established the groundbreaking Scripps Oceanography Institute. In 1927, Belle Benchley became the nation’s first female zoo director and for nearly thirty years pioneered new forms of exhibition and developed the world-class San Diego Zoo. Guatemalan activist and advocate Luisa Moreno established the United Fish Cannery Workers Union to protect the rights of workers during World War II. Ruth Alexander set new altitude records for light planes at the peak of the city’s aviation boom. Bertha Pendleton became the first female and first African American San Diego school superintendent in 1993. Authors Hannah Cohen and Gloria Harris document these and many more stories of extraordinary local women.


About the Authors

Hannah Cohen holds a master of science degree in library and information sciences and an advanced diploma in educational administration. She was a public affairs consultant advocating and developing policies and legislation to prevent homelessness and for affordable housing. She continues to promote women’s equality and rights for the underprivileged as the president of the Women’s Museum of California and as a co-coordinator of J Street San Diego, part of a national organization promoting peace.

Dr. Gloria Harris began her career as a psychologist in the early 1970s after receiving her doctorate from the University of Washington. She has previously been a lecturer at San Diego State University, department of women’s studies, and was inducted into the San Diego Women’s Hall of Fame in 2010. Her previous co-authored books include Assertive Training for Women (1975) and Surviving Infidelity (1994).