Azie Taylor Morton

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Azie Taylor Morton
Azie Taylor Morton.jpg
Official portrait
36th Treasurer of the United States
In office
September 12, 1977 – January 20, 1981
PresidentJimmy Carter
Preceded byFrancine Irving Neff
Succeeded byAngela Marie Buchanan
Personal details
Born(1936-02-01)February 1, 1936
Dale, Texas, U.S.
DiedDecember 7, 2003(2003-12-07) (aged 67)
Bastrop County, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocrat
Spouse(s)James Homer Morton
Signature

Azie Taylor Morton (February 1, 1936 – December 7, 2003) served as Treasurer of the United States during the Carter administration from September 12, 1977 to January 20, 1981. She remains the only African American to hold that office. Her signature was printed on US currency during her tenure.[1]

Early life[edit]

Morton was born to Fleta Hazel Taylor in a rural African-American enclave called the St. John Colony in the farming community Dale, Texas. She did not know her father and was raised as one of 14 children by her maternal grandparents on a small farm. During her adolescence, Taylor worked in the cotton fields. Although she was not blind, deaf or an orphan, she attended the Texas Blind, Deaf, and Orphan School during her high school years because there was no high school for African Americans in Dale. She graduated at the top of her class at age 16.

In 1952 Taylor enrolled in Huston–Tillotson College, an all-black college in Austin. Four years later she graduated cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in commercial education. Taylor then attempted to enroll in the University of Texas’s graduate program but was denied admission on the grounds that she had insufficient undergraduate courses. Because of the state’s segregationist policy barring the enrollment of blacks in undergraduate programs, she was not able to complete the admission requirements. Taylor instead took a job as a teacher at the Crocker School for Girls, a state-sponsored school for delinquents.[2]

Career[edit]

Before becoming treasurer, she served on President John F. Kennedy's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity. From 1972 to 1976, she was a special assistant to Robert Schwarz Strauss, the chair of the Democratic National Committee.[3] She was also an election observer for the presidential elections in Haiti, Senegal, and the Dominican Republic; a member of the American Delegation to Rome, Italy for the Enthronement of Pope John Paul II; chair of a People to People Mission to the Soviet Union and China; and a representative to the first African/African American Conference held in Africa.[4] She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

Personal life[edit]

Azie Taylor married James Homer Morton on May 29, 1965. The couple had two daughters, Virgie Floyd and Stacey Hurst, who later brought them two granddaughters and three great-grandchildren. James Homer Morton died in January of 2003.[5]

Death and legacy[edit]

On December 6, 2003, Morton suffered a stroke at her home in Bastrop County, Texas, and she died of complications the next day.

In April 2018, Robert E. Lee Road in Austin was renamed Azie Morton Road in her honor.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "African Americans on Currency". Archived from the original on 2007-05-15. Retrieved 2007-05-24.
  2. ^ "Azie Taylor Morton (1936-2003)". Black Past. June 2011. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  3. ^ "Women in Government: A Slim Past, But a Strong Future". Ebony: 89–92, 96–98. August 1977.
  4. ^ "Azie Taylor Morton, 67, U.S. Treasurer Under Carter". New York Times. December 14, 2003.
  5. ^ "Azie Taylor Morton Biography". Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  6. ^ Audrey McGlinchy, April 25, 2018, Austin City Council Votes to Rename Two Streets Named for Confederate Figures. Accessed 2018-09-10.
Political offices
Preceded by
Francine Irving Neff
Treasurer of the United States
1977—1981
Succeeded by
Angela Marie Buchanan

External links[edit]