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Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

Clare Boothe Luce

Clare Boothe Luce, 1944

The Eisenhower Memorial Commission is celebrating Women’s History Month with women who were pioneers in American diplomacy during the Eisenhower administration. One of those women is Clare Boothe Luce. Luce was a former Congresswoman and was the first woman appointed as a U.S. ambassador to a major power when President Eisenhower appointed her as U.S. Ambassador to Italy in 1953.

She also served as U.S. Ambassador to Brazil for four days in 1959 under President Eisenhower. In 1979, she became the first woman to be awarded the Sylvanus Thayer Award by the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 1983, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom becoming the first Congresswoman to receive the award.

Also a versatile author, Luce is best known for her 1936 hit play The Women, which had an all-female cast.