Alice Paul (1885-1977) was a leader in the woman's suffrage movement. Born into a Quaker family, Alice graduated from Swarthmore College, and continued her education in social work, sociology, and economics. She received a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Pennsylvania with a dissertation on "The Legal Position of Women in Pennsylvania." Paul also received two advanced law degrees from American University.
As a leader in the Women's Social and Political Union, Alice pressed for women's right to vote. She organized demonstrations and nonviolent civil disobedience, picketed in front of the White House with signs such as "Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?" She was arrested numerous times for "obstructing traffic," spent months at a time in prison, staged a hunger fight, endured force feeding, and was brutalized by prison guards. She continued to demand full freedom for women.
When the Nineteenth Amendment was passed in 1920, women finally had the right to vote. For the rest of her life, Alice continued to work for women's rights around the world. She helped Jewish refugees during World War II, fought for the Equal Rights Amendment, and protested the Vietnam War. She died at the age of 92.