Gertrude W. Donahey

From Ohio History Central

Gertrude Walton Donahey was born in Goshen Township in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, on August 4, 1908. Donahey earned a degree from Mann's Business College in Columbus, Ohio, before going to work in the Office of the Ohio Adjutant General's Business and Finance Division.

Donahey eventually became involved in politics as a member of the Democratic Party. Donahey was chosen as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1964 and 1968, as well as representing the state of Ohio on the Democratic Party's platform and resolution committee. In 1964, U.S. Senator Stephen M. Young hired Donahey as his executive assistant, a position that she held until 1970. These experiences prepared Donahey for an elected political position.

In 1970, Donahey became the first woman to be elected to a statewide office in Ohio when she won election as state treasurer. She continued to serve as Ohio's treasurer until 1983. Donahey commanded much respect in this position, both within the state and at the national level. The members of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers elected her as their president in 1981.

Donahey was also connected by marriage to two other Ohio politicians. Her husband, John W. Donahey, was Lieutenant Governor of Ohio from 1959 to 1963. A. Victor Donahey, Governor of Ohio and United States Senator, was Gertrude Donahey's father-in-law.

Donahey died in Bexley, Ohio, on July 11, 2004.

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