Catherine Dean May

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Campaign postcard (detail)

Catherine Dean May (May 18, 1914 – May 28, 2004) was a U.S. Representative from Washington.[1]

May was born as Catherine Dean Barnes in Yakima, Washington and graduated from Yakima Valley Junior College, in 1934. She earned her B.S. from the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington in 1936 and her teaching certificate in 1937. She attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California in 1939. She taught English at Chehalis (Washington) High School from 1937 to 1940 and was women's editor and a news broadcaster in Tacoma, Washington in 1941 and 1942. She headed the radio department for a Seattle advertising agency from 1942 to 1943, and a Seattle insurance company from 1943 to 1944. She then became a writer and assistant commentator for the National Broadcasting Company in New York City from 1944 to 1946 before returning to the Northwest to become women's editor at station KIT in Yakima from 1948 to 1957. She worked as an office manager and medical secretary at the Yakima Medical Center in 1957 and 1958 and served as president of Bedell Associates. She served as member of the Washington State House of Representatives from 1952 to 1958.

Upon her marriage to Donald W. Bedell on November 14, 1970, she was known as Catherine May Bedell. In 2004 she was the president of Bedell Associates in Palm Desert, California.[1]

May was elected as a Republican to the Eighty-sixth and to the five succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1959–January 3, 1971). She was the first woman elected to Congress from Washington.

She was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the Ninety-second Congress in 1970 and subsequently served on the United States International Trade Commission from 1971 to 1981. In 1982 she was a Special Consultant to the President on the 50 States Project. She died on May 28, 2004, in Rancho Mirage, California.

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 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.