South Jersey’s boardrooms and governing bodies today show few women in positions of power.

Most major institutions — the casinos, the factories, the municipalities and, yes, the media outlets — are run by white, middle-age men.

This belies the fact, however, that women have been instrumental in shaping our region. Some remained on the sidelines and some led the charge, but women have played a vital role in some of the most important aspects of South Jersey life.

The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey is located in Galloway Township due in large part to the efforts of one woman, Elizabeth Alton. Another singular woman, Mildred Fox, lobbied for the introduction of casino gambling to Atlantic City for two decades. Others are responsible for the growth of booming industries — blueberries and beauty products, respectively — in the region and nationwide. Still others laid the foundation for great social upheavals, risking jail and far worse for gender and racial equality.

For this project, which also celebrates Women’s History Month, The Press of Atlantic City focuses on eight women who have had a substantial effect on the cultural, economic and political landscape of South Jersey. The goal is not to exalt these women’s accomplishments at the expense of similarly impressive women but to highlight a forgotten piece of our shared history. The project includes an interactive web presentation at

Staff writers consulted archival material, local historians, women’s organizations and readers to create a list of more than 40 accomplished women. Editors and reporters reviewed the list and submitted material. After vigorous debate, eight women were chosen based on the impact they made on the region.

We hope to revisit the rich history of South Jersey’s women each March and will continue to look to our readers for help. Please send any comments or suggestions to

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