Hermine Tobolowsky (1921-1995), a Dallas lawyer, is considered to be the
“Mother of the Texas Equal Rights Amendment.” After graduating from law
school in 1943, Tobolowsky had trouble finding a job because of the
rampant sexual discrimination at the time. After working for a few years
in San Antonio, she decided to start her own practice, and eventually
moved it to Dallas in 1951.
Soon after, Tobolowsky began an effort to amend Texas laws that
discriminated against women, such as the separate property and
acknowledgement laws. She worked with the Texas Federation of Business
and Professional Women’s Club, of which she was a member and eventually
president, to conduct an extensive letter writing campaign to make
changes to laws. She then fought to amend the Texas Constitution with
the Texas Equal Rights Amendment, which passed in 1972. Tobolowsky
pushed for a similar national amendment, which eventually failed, but
she continued her work in equal rights legislation working for different
organizations and helping to amend laws in multiple states.