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Church, Marguerite Stitt (1892–1990)

U.S. Republican Congresswoman who served six terms. Born Marguerite Stitt in New York City on September 13, 1892; died in Evanston, Illinois, on May 26, 1990; graduated from Wellesley College, 1914; master's degree in political science from Columbia University; married Ralph Church (an Illinois state legislator), in 1918.

Marguerite Church's political career was sparked by her marriage to Illinois state legislator Ralph Church in 1918, after which she worked in a number of family and children's welfare organizations. With her husband's election to the House of Representatives in 1934, she became more involved in his career, campaigning and accompanying him on investigative trips. She was active in the Republican presidential campaigns of 1940 and 1944 and, during and after World War II, made several inspection tours in Europe at her husband's request. After his death in March 1950, party leaders convinced her to run for election to his seat. Her November 1950 victory was followed by six successive terms.

Church's tenure was marked by her thoughtful attention to constituent services. As a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, she traveled extensively, particularly in Asia, and through her work on Government Operations helped pass the act that placed the federal budget on a system of annual expenditures. In 1962, at age 70, Church voluntarily withdrew from elective politics but remained active in the political campaigns of Barry Goldwater (1964) and Richard Nixon (1968). She also served on the national boards of the Girl Scouts of America and the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. She died in 1990, at the age of 98.

Barbara Morgan , Melrose, Massachusetts

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Church, Marguerite Stitt (1892–1990)

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