20 June 2023
The eighth coin in the American Women Quarters (AWQ) series, honouring Eleanor Roosevelt, has been released by the United States Mint. Each woman in the AWQ series demonstrates the contributions women have made in the history of America.
The influential woman chosen for the latest coin in this series is Eleanor Roosevelt, who was a leader, reformer, First Lady and author.
She was the first chairperson of the UN Commission on Human Rights, advocating for the civil liberties and needs of the poor, minorities and disadvantaged, and was instrumental in the passing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948.
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Born on 11 October 1884 in New York City to a politically prominent family, Roosevelt married her distant cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1905.
It was after her husband was stricken with polio in 1921 that Eleanor Roosevelt became increasingly active in politics. She promoted women’s political engagement and played a leadership role in several organisations, including the League of Women Voters and the Women’s Trade Union League.
Her activities were extensively covered in the media in the 1920s, making her a public figure.
After her husband became president in 1932, during the Great Depression, she became the most politically active and influential First Lady in history, using the position to advance many of her progressive and egalitarian goals.
She travelled America extensively, visiting relief projects, surveying working and living conditions, and reporting back to the president about what she found.
Eleanor Roosevelt continued her public life after President Roosevelt’s death in 1945, with President Truman appointing her as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly in 1946, which led to her work on the Commission on Human Rights.
Additionally, she was appointed by President John F Kennedy to serve on the National Advisory Committee of the Peace Corps, as well as Chair for the President’s Commission on the Status of Women. She died on 7 November 1962, and is buried alongside her husband on their estate at Hyde Park.
Eleanor Roosevelt coin design
To highlight her role in American life, Eleanor Roosevelt appears on the reverse of the coin with the scales of justice and a globe in the background to represent the worldwide equality she worked so hard for through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The inscriptions are ‘UNITED STATES of AMERICA’, ‘QUARTER DOLLAR’, ‘E PLURIBUS UNUM’, ‘ELEANOR ROOSEVELT’ and ‘UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS’.
The reverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Designer Don Everhart and sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Artist Craig Campbell.
As with all coins in the series, the obverse depicts a portrait of George Washington originally composed and sculpted by Laura Gardin Fraser to mark George Washington’s 200th birthday.
The Philadelphia and Denver mints manufactured these circulating quarters in the AWQ programme.