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DU PONT, ZARA

DU PONT, ZARA (24 Feb. 1869-1 May 1946), reformer, helped underprivileged CHILDREN AND YOUTH and actively supported rights for LABOR and suffrage for WOMEN in Cleveland and elsewhere. She was a sister of Senator Thomas Coleman du Pont and cousin of other Delaware du Ponts--Lammot, Irenee, and Pierre--and also of Cleveland mayor TOM L. JOHNSON. Born in Louisville, KY, to Antoine Bidermann du Pont and Susan Coleman du Pont, du Pont attended private school in Philadelphia, PA. In an early act of defiance, she refused the coming-out party typical of other debutantes. Instead, she joined the board of the Children's Free Hospital (Louisville). In Ohio, du Pont worked with ELIZABETH HAUSER to include woman suffrage in the new state constitution (1910). She joined the Cuyahoga Women's Suffrage Association (1911) and served on the board of the state suffrage organization. While less daring local women turned their backs to the camera, du Pont and Grace Treat posed for a full-face photograph publicizing the Votes for Women pageant and parade in New York City (1912). Du Pont traveled throughout northeast Ohio, often in a red Winton automobile, speaking on behalf of woman's suffrage, until she moved to Cambridge, MA, where she continued to protest against injustice and prejudice. For example, as a stockholder, she advocated pro-labor policies in the boardroom of the Bethlehem Steel Co. (1941) and signed resolutions in a proxy statement against Montgomery Ward's labor policies (1945). Du Pont died in Cambridge, MA.