Ivy Baker Priest

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Ivy Baker Priest
25th Treasurer of California
In office
January 2, 1967 – January 6, 1975
GovernorRonald Reagan
Preceded byBert A. Betts
Succeeded byJesse Unruh
30th Treasurer of the United States
In office
January 28, 1953 – January 29, 1961
PresidentDwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded byGeorgia Neese Clark
Succeeded byElizabeth Rudel Smith
Personal details
Ivy Baker

(1905-09-07)September 7, 1905
Kimberly, Utah, U.S.
DiedJune 23, 1975(1975-06-23) (aged 69)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Resting placeWasatch Lawn Memorial Park
40°41′52.08″N 111°50′30.12″W / 40.6978000°N 111.8417000°W / 40.6978000; -111.8417000 (Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park)
Spouse(s)Roy Fletcher Priest
Sidney Stevens
ChildrenPat Priest
3 others

Ivy Baker Priest (September 7, 1905 – June 23, 1975) was an American politician who served as Treasurer of the United States from 1953 to 1961 and California State Treasurer from 1967 to 1975.[1]

Early life[edit]

Priest was born in Kimberly, Utah, on September 7, 1905, to Clara Fernley and Orange D. Baker.[2] Her father worked as a gold miner in Kimberly and later as a copper miner in the town of Bingham Canyon, while her mother ran a boarding house. She was active in politics from high school, when she worked to register voters in a mayoral campaign.


Priest was a delegate to the GOP state convention in 1932 and ran unsuccessfully for Congress in Utah on the Republican ticket in 1934. From 1934 to 1936, Priest was elected as Regional Co-Chair of the Young Republican National Federation.[3]

Beginning in 1944, she served for several years as Utah's Republican National Committeewoman and, in 1950, ran for Congress in Utah again and lost for a second time. During Dwight D. Eisenhower's campaign for President of the United States, Priest took charge of the women's division of the Republican National Committee and was credited with the successful drive to get out the women's vote, which totaled 52 percent of Eisenhower's victory margin.[2]

She served as Treasurer of the United States under President Eisenhower from January 28, 1953, to January 29, 1961, during which time her signature appeared on all U.S. currency.

In 1967, she became national chair of the Easter Seals.

In 1966 she was elected as a Republican to the office of California State Treasurer, narrowly unseating Democrat Bert A. Betts.[4] She was reelected to a second term in 1970 by a comfortable margin,[5] but did not seek a third term due to declining health.

In 1968 she became the first woman to nominate a candidate for U.S. president for a major political party when she offered California Governor Ronald Reagan's name in a speech before the Republican National Convention.[6] (The convention chose Richard M. Nixon.)

Personal life[edit]

She was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[7]

On December 7, 1935, she married Roy Fletcher Priest in Salt Lake City, Utah. He died on June 11, 1959, in Arlington, Virginia.[8] On June 20, 1961, she married Sidney William Stevens.[9][10]

She died of cancer in Santa Monica, California on June 23, 1975.[1] She was buried in the Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Utah.


On August 29, 1954, Priest was the featured guest on What's My Line?. The recording is available on YouTube. On March 17, 1960 she was also featured on Take a Good Look with Ernie Kovacs.

Priest was the mother of Pat Priest, an actress best known for playing Marilyn Munster in the 1960s television show The Munsters and appearing in the 1967 Paramount motion picture Easy Come, Easy Go with Elvis Presley.

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ivy Baker Priest Is Dead. Ex-Treasurer of U.S., 69". Associated Press in the New York Times. June 23, 1975. Retrieved December 19, 2013. Ivy Baker Priest, who once said her background of poverty qualified her best for the office of Treasurer of the United States, which she held for eight years, has died of cancer at the age of 69....
  2. ^ a b Reeve, W. Paul. "Ivy Baker Priest". History Blazer. Utah State Historical Society (June 1995).
  3. ^ Mickelsen, Enid. "Ivy Baker Priest, A natural organizer with political ambitions". utahwomenshistory.org. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  4. ^ https://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?fips=6&year=1966&off=8[bare URL]
  5. ^ https://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?fips=6&year=1970&f=0&off=8[bare URL]
  6. ^ https://catalog.archives.gov/id/10610507
  7. ^ "Statistical Report 1975". Ensign. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. May 1976. ISBN 0-642-01740-9. Retrieved November 9, 2008.
  8. ^ He was born on January 3, 1884, and died on June 11, 1959, in Arlington, Virginia. He was buried in the Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  9. ^ "Mrs. Ivy Baker Priest Wed to S.W. Stevens". New York Times. June 21, 1961. Retrieved December 19, 2013. Mrs. Ivy Baker Priest, Treasurer of the United States during the Eisenhower administration, was married today to Sidney William Stevens ...
  10. ^ His original surname was Silberman. He was born November 3, 1902, and was the son of Samuel and Ida (Blasberg) Silberman. He died on March 2, 1972, and was buried in the Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Utah.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Treasurer of the United States
Succeeded by
Preceded by State Treasurer of California
Succeeded by