Eugenie Moore Anderson was born in 1909 in Adair, Iowa. In pursuit of a musical career she studied at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. In 1929 she transferred to Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she met John Pierce Anderson from Red Wing, Minnesota. They were married in 1930 and moved to New York City, where Eugenie continued her musical studies at the Institute of Musical Art and John Anderson pursued his art interests. Several years later the couple returned to live at Tower View, the Anderson family farm in Red Wing.
In October 1949 President Truman appointed Anderson United States Ambassador to Denmark; she was the first American woman to serve as the chief of a mission abroad with the title of Ambassador. While ambassador she was also chosen as United States representative to the third session of the United Nations Ad Hoc Commission on Prisoners of War, which convened in August 1952. Later that year Anderson additionally spent several weeks campaigning for United States presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson and was a principal speaker at the Democratic national convention. When she resigned from her ambassadorial post in January 1953, Anderson returned to Red Wing with the Grand Cross of the Order of Dannebrog, awarded to her by King Frederik IX.
From 1953 to 1962 Anderson travelled and lectured throughout Western Europe, India, and the United States as both private citizen and official representative for various governments.
In 1962 Eugenie Anderson was named American Minister to Bulgaria by President John F. Kennedy, thus becoming the first American woman to serve as chief of a diplomatic mission in a Soviet bloc country. She served in this post until December 1964.
From 1965 to 1968 Anderson accepted several appointments as part of the official United States delegation to the United Nations in New York.
Between 1968 and 1972, Eugenie Anderson began to relinquish her official United Nations responsibilities. She returned to Minnesota and campaigned intensively for Hubert Humphrey, both for President in 1968 and for United States senator in 1970.
More about Ambassador Anderson
- Minnesota Historical Society (PDF 950 KB)
- Obituary in The New York Times
Video with Ambassador Anderson