Reva Beck Bosone’s political ambitions began as a lawyer in Carbon County and eventually led her to become Utah’s first congresswoman.
In 1948, Reva Beck Bosone became the first woman elected to Congress from Utah. Born in American Fork to Presbyterian parents, Reva Beck graduated from the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute (now Westminster College), and then went on to earn a bachelors degree from the University of California at Berkley and a law degree from the University of Utah. While she was in law school she met and married Joseph Bosone, a fellow student from Helper.
After finishing law school, the Bosones moved to Carbon County where they opened a joint law practice. Reva immediately jumped into politics, campaigning for a seat in the state house of representatives which she handily won. While a member of the legislature, Bosone helped pass a badly needed minimum wage and hours law for women and children. Over time, she won the respect of her legislative colleagues, and was eventually named the Democratic Party's majority floor leader.
After serving in the legislature for several years, Bosone was voted in as a Salt Lake City judge. But her political ambitions extended to national office, and in 1948 she was elected to Congress, thanks in part to a visit to Utah by then-President Harry Truman. During her time in the House of Representatives she became heavily involved in water reclamation projects, American Indian policy, and women's rights issues. Years after she retired from the House, she was brought back into politics one last time by John F. Kennedy who named her judicial officer of the US Post Office Department. She died in 1983.
Image: Reva Beck Bosone on stage with President Harry Truman, ca. 1950, image courtesy Marriott Library Special Collections, University of Utah.
See Kathryn MacKay’s entry on Bosone in the online Utah History Encyclopedia. Also see the September 1995 collection of the History Blazer, a joint project of the Utah State Historical Society and the Utah State Centennial Commission. The History Blazer can be found on the Utah History Suite CD available from the Utah State Historical Society.