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Faye Wattleton

1943 –

“One of the sad commentaries on the way women are viewed in our society is that we have to fit one category. I have never felt that I had to be in one category.”

Second President

From the beginnings of her career in the slums of New York City in the second decade of the 20th century, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger worked to empower women by giving them access to information about their own health and that of their babies, as well as distributing birth control information.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t until 1978 that Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) named its first woman president since Sanger herself led the organization. The selection, Faye Wattleton was also the organization’s youngest and first African-American president. She began college at age 16 and earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree in maternal and infant care, with certification as a nurse-midwife – from Columbia University.  

Wattleton is currently a management consultant, is still best known for her leadership and advocacy of improving the status and health care of women. She was a co-founder and president of the Center for the Advancement of Women, which, for nearly 15 years conducted groundbreaking research on women’s opinions, experiences, roles and status in society in America.


Annette Adams: Ann Baumgartner: Cathleen Black: Dr. Nina Starr Braunwald: Jacqueline Cochran: France A. Córdova: Bessie Coleman: Charlotte Curtis: Grace Hoadley Dodge: Alene Duerk: Elsie Eaves: Amy Eilberg: Claire Giannini Hoffman: Sarah Tilghman Hughes: Kara S. Hultgreen: Mae Jemison: Beverly Johnson: Claudia Kennedy: Mary Florence Lathrop: Ruth Law: Faith Sai So Leong: Kathleen McGrath: Constance Baker Motley: Pauli Murray: Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: Judith Rodin: Florence Rood: Dr. Florence Sabin: Jill Abramson: Ruth J. Simmons: Norma Merrick Sklarek: Dr. Janet Graeme Travell: Maggie Mitchell Walker: Alice Stebbins Wells: Ella Flagg Young: