Skip to main content
Select Source:

Maud Wood Park

Maud Wood Park

Maud Wood Park (1871-1955) was a social activist hoping to educate new voters and becoming the first president of the League of Women Voters.

Maud Wood Park became first president of the League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization to educate new voters following the passage of woman's suffrage in 1920. Maud Wood grew up in Boston and earned money by teaching in Chelsea High School in order to attend Radcliffe College. In 1898 she graduated summa cum laude from Radcliffe, where she was one of only two students in a class of seventy-two to favor the vote for women. While still a student, she married Charles Edward Park, a Boston architect, in 1897. The couple lived near the Boston settlement Denison House, introducing Maud Wood Park to social-reform work. Charles Park died in 1904.


For fifteen years Maud Wood Park was active in suffrage and civic work in Boston. She became chair of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association in 1900 and executive secretary of the Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government, which was devoted to combining work for suffrage with activities for civic betterment. A charismatic speaker, Park traveled widely to enlist college women in the cause of suffrage. In 1916 her friend Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National American Woman's Suffrage Association (NAWSA), persuaded Park to join the NAWSA's Congressional Committee and to go to Washington to lobby directly for the federal suffrage amendment. Thus Park led the "front-door lobby" to win suffrage.

League of Women Voters

Park agreed to serve as first president of the League of Women Voters (LWV), the organization that succeeded the NAWSA. She said that the league's purpose should be to "promote reforms in which women will naturally take an interest in a greater degree than men—protection for working women, children, public health questions, and the care of dependent and delinquent classes." Under Park's leadership the LWV adopted a thirty-eight-point program of legislative measures. Though women's organizations divided in the 1920s, Park helped form the Women's Joint Congressional Committee (WJCC) in 1920, with representatives from nine other women's organizations, and then became its head. The WJCC succeeded in winning two important pieces of legislation: the Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy Protection Act of 1921 and the 1922 Cable Act, which granted independent citizenship to married women. The league also served to pressure the Women's Bureau to end child labor and promote social legislation on behalf of women. Because of serious illness, Park resigned from the presidency of the league in 1924, but she continued for the rest of her life to lecture and work on behalf of women.

Further Reading

Eleanor Flexner, Century of Struggle: The Woman's Rights Movement in the United States (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959). □

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Maud Wood Park." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . 18 Jun. 2019 <>.

"Maud Wood Park." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . (June 18, 2019).

"Maud Wood Park." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Retrieved June 18, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.