Mildred Schwab

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Mildred Schwab
Mildred Schwab.jpg
Portland City Commissioner
In office
December 29, 1972 – January 5, 1987
Preceded byNeil Goldschmidt
Succeeded byEarl Blumenauer
Personal details
BornJanuary 9, 1917
Portland, Oregon
Diedc. January 13, 1999 (aged 82)
Portland, Oregon

Mildred A. Schwab[1] (January 9, 1917 – c. January 13, 1999) was an attorney and politician from Portland, Oregon, in the United States. She served as a City Commissioner from 1973 to 1986;[2] she was appointed to fill the vacancy created when Neil Goldschmidt was elected mayor, and was reelected three times.[2] Her brother, Herbert M. Schwab, served on the Oregon Court of Appeals.[2]


She was born in Portland to Jewish immigrants and grew up in northeast Portland,[3] at the poor end of lower middle class.[4] She attended Grant High School and the Northwestern School of Business. She was one of the first women to study law, and graduated from Northwestern College of Law (at Lewis & Clark College) in 1939 and qualified for the Oregon Bar. She worked as a lawyer until her appointment to the Portland City Council.[3] She took office on the council on December 29, 1972.[5]

In 1971, Portland still had two lunch spots closed to women. Schwab organized a sit-in at Perkins' Pub (in the basement of Lipman-Wolfe), which succeeded in opening the establishment to women. She also was part of a small group (also including Gretchen Kafoury) who opened City Club of Portland to women. She was the first woman nominated to be a Portland Rose Festival ambassador (or Royal Rosarian), though she declined the honor.[3]

Part of her time as city commissioner was in charge of the police and fire departments—Portland's equivalent of police commissioner[3]—for which she received great support.[4]


  1. ^ "City Elected Officials Since 1913". Office of Auditor Mary Hull Caballero. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Cogswell, Philip. "Mildred Schwab (1917–1999)". The Oregon Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d "Mildred Schwab". Bureau of Human Resources, City of Portland. March 26, 2007. Archived from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Sid Schwab (Mildred's nephew) (April 30, 2008). "Moomump". Retrieved April 2, 2009.
  5. ^ "Schwab sworn in as new commissioner". The Oregonian. December 29, 1972. Section 1, p. 21.