Ove­ta Culp Hob­by: Colonel, Cab­i­net Mem­ber, Philanthropist

  • From the Publisher
May 22, 2014

Ove­ta Culp Hob­by (19051995) had a life­time of stel­lar achieve­ment. Dur­ing World War II, she was asked to build a wom­en’s army from scratch, and did. Hob­by became Direc­tor of the Wom­en’s Army Corps and the first Army woman to earn the rank of colonel. Pres­i­dent Eisen­how­er chose her as Sec­re­tary of Health, Edu­ca­tion, and Wel­fare, mak­ing her the sec­ond woman in his­to­ry to be appoint­ed to a pres­i­den­t’s cab­i­net. When she was­n’t serv­ing in the gov­ern­ment, Hob­by worked with her hus­band, for­mer Texas gov­er­nor William P. Hob­by, to lead a media empire that includ­ed the Hous­ton Post news­pa­per and radio and TV sta­tions. She also sup­port­ed the Hous­ton com­mu­ni­ty in many ways, from advo­cat­ing for civ­il rights for African Amer­i­cans to donat­ing gen­er­ous­ly to the Hous­ton Sym­pho­ny and the Muse­um of Fine Arts.

Ove­ta Culp Hob­by is the first biog­ra­phy of this impor­tant woman. Writ­ten for mid­dle school read­ers, it traces her life from her child­hood in Killeen to her remark­able achieve­ments in Wash­ing­ton, DC, and Hous­ton. Debra Wine­garten pro­vides the back­ground to help young adult read­ers under­stand the times in which Hob­by lived and the chal­lenges she faced as a woman in non­tra­di­tion­al jobs. She shows how Hob­by opened doors for women to serve in the mil­i­tary and in oth­er pro­fes­sions that still ben­e­fit women today. Most of all, Ove­ta Culp Hob­by will inspire young adults to fol­low their own dreams and turn them into tan­gi­ble reality.

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