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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

RAWSON, BARBARA HAAS - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

RAWSON, BARBARA HAAS (28 Dec. 1918-21 Sept. 1990) was a prominent woman executive long active in civic and political affairs. She helped establish the Greater Cleveland Associated Foundation, which later merged with the CLEVELAND FOUNDATION. She was also the first woman appointed to the newly-created Ohio Ethics Commission.

Born in Cleveland, she graduated from Shaker Heights High School in 1936, and received her bachelor's degree from Bennington College in 1940. After college she worked in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., and then at the Office of War Information during WORLD WAR II.

In 1961 the Greater Cleveland Associated Foundation was formed with financing from the Ford Foundation and the Leonard C. Hanna Fund. The foundation sought to address urban problems through philanthropy. In 1967 the Greater Cleveland Associated Foundation merged with the Cleveland Foundation. Rawson served as its assistant director and, in 1973 and 1974, was interim director.

In 1973 Rawson was appointed by Governor John Gilligan to serve a four-year term on the Ohio Ethics Commission. She was a member of the Cuyahoga County League of Women Voters and Citizens League of Cleveland. Rawson received the Distinguished Citizen award from the National Civic League and, in 1989, shared the Citizen of the Year award by the Citizens League of Greater Cleveland with her husband, Robert H. Rawson, President of Empire Plow Co.

The Rawsons' married on 20 Sept. 1941 and had two children, Robert H. Jr., and Susan R. Driscoll. They attended the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland. Rawson was cremated.

Last Modified: 10 Jul 1997 05:11:38 PM

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