Notable Women of Buffalo - Table of Contents

Winifred Claire Stanley

A [Congressional] Representative from New York.

Born in New York, N.Y., August 14, 1909 ... attended public schools in New York, N.Y. ... and Buffalo, N.Y. ... B.A., University of Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y., 1930 ...  LL.B.,University of Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y. 1933; ...  J.D., University of Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y., 1933

  • lawyer, private practice;
  • assistant district attorney of Erie County, N.Y., 1938-1942;
  • elected as a Republican to the Seventy-eighth Congress (January 3, 1943-January 3, 1945);
  • was not a candidate for renomination to the Seventy-ninth Congress in 1944;
  • appointed counsel to the New York State Employees’ Retirement System, 1945-1955; a
  • assistant attorney general, New York State Law Department, Albany, N.Y., 1955-1979;
- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Stanley, Winifred Claire (1909-1996)  Online April 2015

Stanley was born in Manhattan, but the family relocated to Buffalo when she was a child. She graduated from Lafayette High School, then earned a B.A. in 1930, an LL.B., and J.D. in 1933 from the University at Buffalo.

In 1938, she became the first woman to serve as an Assistant District Attorney of Erie County, a position she held until 1942.

In 1942, Stanley was elected at-large as a Republican to the 78th United States Congress, holding office from January 3, 1943, to January 3, 1945. Stanley served one term in Congress and was an advocate for equal rights for women. Stanley was the first Representative to propose that employers be required to pay women equal pay for equal work when she introduced HR 5056. This principle was later enacted in the Equal Pay Act of 1963

Stanley died on February 29, 1996 in Kenmore, New York and was buried at the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Tonawanda, New York.

- Wikipedia: Winifred C. Stanley  (Online April 2015)
The first member of congress to introduce legislation prohibiting discrimination in pay on the basis of sex was Winifred C. Stanley, an attorney from Buffalo.

She graduated at the top of her class from UB law school, was the first woman to serve as Assistant DA in Erie County, and was instrumental in overturning limits on women serving on juries.

She lived at 119 Lancaster Ave.

I think she belongs in the pantheon of rock star women from Buffalo.

- Cynthia Van Ness The History Museum Librarian

Page by Chuck LaChiusa in 2015
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