From Ohio History Central
File:Rice, Helen Steiner: Card collection.jpg|
A collection of cards, one of which contains the writings of Helen Steiner Rice.
Helen Steiner Rice was a twentieth century author, poet and editor.
Steiner was born in Lorain, Ohio, on May 19, 1900. She initially hoped to become an attorney. After her father's death, Steiner took a position with the Lorain Electric Light and Power Company and constructed silk lampshades to help her family meet its living expenses. Steiner was skilled at advertising and public speaking, and she received several promotions. In 1924, she became advertising manager for the Ohio Public Service Company and also served as the Ohio State Chairman of the Women's Public Information Committee of the Electric Light Association. She used both of these positions to argue for improved working conditions and additional rights for women in the workplace. Steiner also contributed articles to Electric Light and Power, a trade magazine.
In 1929, Steiner married Franklin Rice, a Dayton, Ohio bank vice-president. Their marriage lasted only three years. Franklin Rice committed suicide in 1932 due to bad investments in the stock market. To support herself, Helen Rice accepted a position as editor of greeting cards with the Gibson Art Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rice devoted the next fifty years of her life to writing greeting card verses. She became known as the "Poet Laureate of Inspirational Verse." Rice also published several books of poetry. Her first collection was published in 1967 and was called Just for You: A Special Collection of Inspirational Verses. After a long career, Rice was able to amass a sizable fortune. She created the Helen Steiner Rice Foundation to assist charity groups that help needy and elderly people. Rice died in 1981.