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Betty Mae Jumper named on ‘Florida Women of the Century’ list

Betty Mae Jumper’s vast legacy was just expanded; she was named one of USA Today’s “Florida Women of the Century,” a list of notable women with a wealth of accomplishments and achievements.

It was compiled along with a national list to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

The state-by-state list includes 500 women from all 50 states and some U.S. territories. Florida’s list includes 10 women who all lived during 20th century.

The women were educators, environmentalists, writers and trailblazers in a variety of fields.

Betty Mae Jumper (File photo)

Jumper, the only Native American on the list, is noted for being the first woman to lead the Seminole Tribe and first female elected leader of any tribe in North America.

She led Tribal Council as Chairwoman from 1967 to 1971. She was also an advocate for education, a founder of the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET), editor and founder of the Tribe’s newspaper, the Tribe’s first health director, a cattle rancher, an author and a member of the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame.

She died in 2011.

A nurse, Jumper spent 40 years working to improve health care for the Tribe, so it is apt that the Betty Mae Jumper Medical Center was built in Hollywood.

The other Florida women on the list are Mary McLeod Bethune, a trailblazer for African American education and civil rights; Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a journalist, author, civil rights advocate and conservationist; Zora Neale Hurston, a novelist, filmmaker and author; Nancy Brinker founder of the Susan G. Komen (formerly known as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation); Loretta Ford, an internationally renowned nursing leader; Rosemary Barkett, the first woman to serve on the Florida Supreme Court and the state’s first female chief justice; Cristina Saralegui, a Cuban American media personality; Roxcy O’Neal Bolton, a feminist and civil rights activist and Janet Reno, the first female attorney general of the United States.

Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at