Phoebe Hearst

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Phoebe Apperson Hearst (3 December 1842 – 13 April 1919) was an American philanthropist, feminist, suffragist,[1] and the mother of William Randolph Hearst,


She was born Phoebe Elizabeth Apperson in Franklin County, Missouri. At the age of 19, she married George Hearst, who later became a U.S. Senator. Soon after their marriage the couple moved to San Francisco, California, where Phoebe gave birth to their only child, William Randolph Hearst, in 1863.

In the 1880s, she became a major benefactor and director of the Golden Gate Kindergarten Association [2] and the first president of the Century Club of California.[3] She was a major benefactor of the University of California, Berkeley and its first woman Regent, serving on the board from 1897 until her death. Also in 1897, she contributed to the establishment of the National Congress of Mothers, which evolved eventually into the National Parent-Teacher Association. In 1900, she co-founded the National Cathedral School in Washington, DC. A public elementary school near the National Cathedral School bears her name.[4]

She was raised a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian faith in the 1840s.[5] In 1898 she converted to the Bahá'í Faith, and helped play a key role in the spread of the religion in the United States. She briefly travelled to Akka and Haifa in Palestine (modern day Israel) on pilgrimage, arriving on December 14, 1889.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12] She later wrote, "Those three days were the most memorable days of my life."[13][14]

She died at her home in Pleasanton, California, aged 76, on April 13, 1919, during the worldwide influenza epidemic of 1918-1919, and was buried at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, San Mateo County, California.[15] [16]

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