Elizabeth Lowell Putnam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Elizabeth Lowell Putnam (2 February 1862-1935) was an American activist for prenatal care and philanthropist. She was born (as Bessie Lowell) in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Augustus Lowell and Katherine Bigelow Lowell. A member of the Brahmin Lowell family, her siblings included the astronomer Percival Lowell, the educator and legal scholar Abbott Lawrence Lowell, and the poet Amy Lowell. They were the great-grandchildren of John Lowell and, on their mother's side, the grandchildren of Abbott Lawrence.[1]

Elizabeth grew up on her family's 10-acre (40,000 m2) estate, which later be called Sevenels for the seven Lowells that comprised her family. In 1888, Elizabeth married her third cousin and family lawyer William Putnam, Senior.

In 1927, after her husband's death, Elizabeth Lowell Putnam established the William Lowell Putnam Intercollegiate Memorial Fund in order to begin a college-level mathematics competition. This contest, which continues to this day, began in 1935 under the direction of the Mathematical Association of America. Since 1992, the competition has awarded the Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Prize for outstanding performance by a female contestant.

She was the maternal grandmother of McGeorge Bundy and William Putnam Bundy.


  1. ^ Lowell, Delmar R., The Historic Genealogy of the Lowells of America from 1639 to 1899 (Rutland VT: The Tuttle Company, 1899), 283

External links[edit]