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  • Helen Herr


    Helen Herr

    Date of Birth:
    August 3, 1907
    Date of Death:
    June 23, 1999
    Place of Birth:
    Fargo, North Dakota
    Arrival in Las Vegas:

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    Helen Herr was the first woman elected to the Nevada State Senate in 1966. She worked to protect the interests of women and children in the state. She was able to break into the male-only environment of the Legislature and pass bills to improve the quality of life for Nevadans.

    Helen Herr was born in 1907. She moved to Las Vegas in 1948 at the advice of her doctor because of its drier climate. She opened her own real estate firm in 1949, Helen Herr Realty. Herr served in the Assembly as a Democrat from 1957-1961 and again from 1963-1966. She then sought a seat in the Nevada State Senate in 1966 and became the first woman elected to the position. Herr served in the Senate until 1976 when she lost in the Democratic primary. Herr blamed her loss on her opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). She opposed the ERA because she felt it did not support working women and would create more issues than it could solve. Herr also served as the chair of Nevada’s Stop ERA campaign. Despite her defeat in the primary, Nevada voters defeated the ERA on a referendum question.

    Helen Herr passed important bills while in the Senate. She sponsored a bill in 1973 that guaranteed equal pay for equal work for men and women. She also worked to improve conditions in the state’s prisons. She became the first woman elected to the Nevada Senate Hall of Fame in 1993. Herr passed away in 1999 from heart failure.

    For further biographical information:
    Koch, Ed and Cy Ryan. “First Woman State Senator, Real Estate Broker Herr Dies.” Las Vegas Sun. 01 July 1999.
    Photo courtesy of the Research Library, Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau.

    Photo courtesy of the Research Library, Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau.

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