This young adult biography introduces middle school readers to a remarkable woman who founded the Women’s Army Corps, served as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, and ran a media empire that included the Houston Post newspaper and radio and TV stations.
Winner, Gold Medal for Biography, Military Writers Society of America, 2015
Oveta Culp Hobby (1905–1995) 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.
Debra L. Winegarten is a freelance writer whose previous books include There’s Jews in Texas?, Katherine Stinson: The Flying Schoolgirl, and Strong Family Ties: The Tiny Hawkins Story. She lives in Austin, Texas, where she teaches sociology at a local university.
"Debbie Winegarten has done an excellent job of capturing Mother’s spirit."
~Bill Hobby, Lieutenant Governor of Texas, 1973–1991
"Oveta Culp Hobby was one of the most successful women in twentieth-century America in business, government, and politics. I am pleased that Debra Winegarten has written her biography for our Texas history students. Oveta is a true Texas trailblazer who left a tremendous legacy. Everyone should know her story."
~Senator Kay Bailey Hutichson
"Debra Winegarten in Oveta Culp Hobby: Colonel, Cabinet Member, Philanthropist has written a guide for women to follow and Oveta Culp Hobby is clearly an example worth emulating. More than a biography, it will encourage the reader to not see obstacles but rather opportunities."
~Dispatches, Military Writers Society of America
Growing up in Killeen, Texas
Politics and the Texas Legislature: Parliamentarian
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