Gladys Ella <I>Sinclair</I> Brooks

Gladys Ella Sinclair Brooks

Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA
Death 1 Jan 2009 (aged 95)
Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA
Burial Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA
Plot Sec 10 Lot 243A G.4
Memorial ID 97997042 · View Source
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"Gladys Brooks was born in 1913 in Minneapolis, the eldest daughter of politically active, Canadian-American parents, John F. Sinclair, attorney and investment banker and Gladys E. Phillips, early suffragette and peace activist.
Gladys attended Margaret Fuller Grade School, Washburn High School and graduated from the University of Minnesota (B.A. Pol.Sci. /Int'l Relations, 1936) continuing graduate study in International Relations(U.Geneva, U Minn.). She received an LLD (Hon.) from Hamline U.for her political leadership on behalf of women (1966). She was a modern woman ahead of her time and was the "first woman" in many organizations and public functions."

"Beginning in her youth she traveled extensively, keeping travel journals and files of her impressions and observation; first she made family trips across the U.S. with her parents, by car and railroad. Her father was a banker, investment counselor and worked as a Roosevelt NRA advisor. The Sinclair family lived several areas as John Sinclair followed his business interests--in New York, Washington and London during the booming 1920's and 30's Depression. The family traveled extensively in Europe and Asia during these economically turbulent years when Gladys accompanied her father on pre-war government trips."

"The Sinclair family returned to the U.S. from their London residence just as WWII broke out in 1939. Gladys and her sister boarded one of the last civilian ships out of Southampton, England, safely returning to the U.S. for the duration of the war. During her extensive travels Gladys witnessed the both the growth of fascism in Europe and in Japan. She was student in London when she actively campaigned for anti-fascist candidates in British parliamentary elections; returning to the U.S. she lectured and lobbied for U.S. entry into the war--"to save Europe from Nazi expansion." In 1934 Gladys was selected one of two American women students to attend the first Japanese-American student policy conference and to view Asian political developments in pre-war imperial Japan."

"Unlike many of her contemporaries, at a young age Gladys grasped the mid-century ascent of America as a global power and the parallel growth possibilities for American women –she celebrated expanded boundaries for American women outside their traditional family roles. She believed in women's potential for effecting civic and global improvement."

"During the war, as her husband served in the U.S. Army, she put in long days volunteering with the Red Cross. In the post-war years, she continued work with women's community and religious groups - as President of the Minneapolis YWCA, first woman Chair of the Minnesota Council of Churches. She was the first President of the Minnesota Center for Students and Visitors, an early international outreach group that encouraged international academic and business exchanges. This group has grown into today's Minnesota International Center(MIC) within the national network of similar programs (COSERV), serving thousands of international visitors over the past decades. These activities supplemented Gladys' support of the nascent United Nations and UNICEF programs. She was an early member of Minnesota Women's Political Caucus, Women's Campaign Fund and Women's Economic Round Table. She was the first Chair of the University of Minnesota's Advisory Fund for Women's Athletics where an annual award is still given women athletes in her name for outstanding character and academic achievement."

"She served on the Minneapolis City Council from the 13th Ward for two terms(1967-73), the Metropolitan Council for two terms (1975-83) and was first party supported woman candidate for Minneapolis City Mayor (1973). She was the first women Chair appointed to the Minnesota Civil Rights Commission. As Trustee Emeritus at Hamline University an annual scholarship in her name awards women Public Administration graduate students. Recipient of many community and national awards for service, she was admired and appreciated by her community."

"Retiring from public office at age 70, she immediately co-founded a private lobbying firm "to keep her hands in politics." She devoted her last years to speaking and writing, enjoying her grandchildren and further travel. Energetic, compassionate and a generous donor of her skills and resources, she "made a difference" through a lifetime of service, passing away Jan. 1, 2009. Her wide circle of friends, admirers and family celebrated her extraordinary life, as they mourned her passing."

– There were First a Few, Some of America's Leading Women, pub. 2010 by D. Montgomery.

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  • Created by: D. Montgomery
  • Added: 29 Sep 2012
  • Find a Grave Memorial 97997042
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Gladys Ella Sinclair Brooks (8 Jun 1913–1 Jan 2009), Find a Grave Memorial no. 97997042, citing Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by D. Montgomery (contributor 47122518) .