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NATIONAL PARK RANGERS
CLAIRE MARIE HO DGES - FIRST FEMALE NATIONAL PARK RANGER - (1890 - 1970)
SUZANNE LEWIS - FIRST FEMALE NATIONAL PARK SUPERINTENDENT - (1958 -)
BETTY REID SOSKIN - OLDEST ACTIVE NATIONAL PARK RANGER - (1921 -)
Hi! My name is Betty Reid Soskin and at age 95, I am the oldest ranger on active duty in the entire United States National Park Service. I am almost as old as the National Park Service itself, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. I’d like to tell you my story, but first I’d like to tell you about two women who led the way for female rangers.
The first is Claire Marie Hodges. When Claire was 14 years old, she visited Yosemite with her family, travelling 200 miles by horseback from her hometown of Santa Cruz, California! She fell in love with the area, and came back in 1916 to teach at the Yosemite Valley School. In 1918, when young men were serving in World War I, Yosemite National Park found it difficult to hire male workers. Claire believed that she could help and applied for a job as a ranger. With the blessing of Superintendent Washington Lewis, she was hired!