Nebraska Authors

Edith Abbott

Born 1876-09-26 Grand Island, NE (USA)

Died 1957-07-28
Grand Island, NE (USA)

Grand Island, NE (USA)
Grand Island Cemetery

The sister of Grace Abbott and daughter of Othman H. Abbott and Elizabeth M. Griffith Abbott, Edith Abbott was the first woman to become the dean of a university graduate school at the University of Chicago. She was a key figure in establishing the modern profession of social work. The Abbott family greatly affected the making of the Social Security Act and the formation of UNICEF.

Places Lived

Grand Island, NE
Lincoln, NE
Chicago, IL
Boston, MA

Author Of

  • Nonfiction


Social Reform; Social Science


Brownell Hall, Episcopal boarding school, Omaha, NE, 1888
BA, 1901, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
PhD, 1905, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Graduate Studies, 1906-1907, London School of Economics, London, England


School Teacher
University Professor and Dean
Government Consultant

Places Worked

Grand Island Schools
Lincoln Public Schools
University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration
Women's Trade Union League, Boston
American Economic Association
Carnegie Institute, 1906
Wellesley College
Committee on Crime and the Foreign Born of the Wickersham National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement, Chair, 1929-1931


“150 Notable Nebraskans”, Number 42 on the Journal Star Sesquicentennial List of Significant Nebraskans
First woman dean of a graduate school in an American University
First dean of the first school of social work in America
One of four Women's Peace Party delegates to the International Congress of Women in Europe during WWI
One-year Carnegie Fellowship to study at the London School of Economics and Political Science
Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns declared March 20th "Abbott Sister's Day"


Sister of Grace Abbott
Daughter of Othman H. Abbott and Elizabeth M. Griffith Abbott
Resident of Jane Addam's Hull House


Women in Industry: A Study in American Economic History. 1910.
Delinquent Child and the Home. 1912. (Co-Authored with S.P. Breckenridge)
Truancy and Non-Attendance In the Chicago Schools. 1917. (Co-Authored with S. P. Breckenridge)
Immigration. 1924.
Historical Aspects of the Immigrant Problem. 1926.
Social Welfare and Professional Education. 1931.

Edith Abbott wrote over 100 books during her lifetime

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Edith Abbott

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)