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Women's History Month

cover of book

Judge Ruth Williams Cupp--Legal Trailblazer

Ruth Williams Cupp was the first woman admitted to the Charleston County Bar Association. She was also an associate probate judge, a state representative, civic leader and an author.  She earned her law degree from the University of SC Law School in 1954 and became a member of the Charleston County Bar that same year. "In 2015, the Charleston County Bar honored Cupp with the James Louis Petigru Award, the organization’s highest honor."

Ms. Cupp authored three books:

  • Portia Steps up to the Bar
  • Attorneys from Charlest Town to Charleston
  • Miracles on St. Margaret Street,  a history of the Florence Crittendon Programs                                                                                    (from The Post and Courier),

Mary Moultrie--Hospital Worker and Strike Leader

After graduating from Burke High School, Mary Moultrie attended Morgan State College in Baltimore, Md. After only one semester of college, Moultrie left for New York City where she began working as a nurse.  She spent almost eight years in New York, but moved back to Charleston (which she always considered home) in1967. She began working at the Medical College Hospital of South Carolina and quickly notice discrimination against African American hospital employees.  Among the first to speak up about the unjust treatment, Moultrie was instrumental in in organizing her fellow workers and and led them in a strike in 1969. Moultrie was later elected the founding president of Local 1199B of the Hospital and Healthcare Workers’ Union.

In 2011, the YWCA of Greater Charleston presented her with the Harvey Gantt Triumph Award for her strike leadership and her work in human rights.


Barbara Williams--first female editor of a major paper in SC

Born: Kentucky
Newspaper History:
-The News and Courier
-Camden (N.J.) Courier Post
-The Evening Post
-The Post and Courier
Honors and Awards:
-President of the National Conference of Editorial Writers
-Byliner Award from the Central Chapter Sigma Delta Chi
-South Carolina Newspaper Woman of the Year
-South Carolina Hospital Association Press Award
-University of Tennessee, BS in Journalism
-Attended UT College of Law
-Honorary Doctor of Journalism from The Citadel
Family: Married for 49 years to the late Charleston artist, Manning Williams