Lillian Wald - Nurses, Life Achievements and Life

Home  ›  American  ›  Lillian WaldMarch 10, 1867138 views

0.0 based on 0 rates

Lillian Wald's Personal Details

Lillian D

InformationDetail
BirthdayMarch 10, 1867
Died onSeptember 1, 1940
NationalityAmerican
FamousHumanitarian, Activists, Human Rights Activists, Nurses
Known asLilian D. Wald
Humanitarian Works
  • Founding the Henry Street Settlement; nursing pioneer, advocacy for the poor
Founder / Co-Founder
  • The Nurses' Settlement
  • Women's Trade Union League
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • Visiting Nurse Service of New York
Birth PlaceCincinnati, Ohio
GenderFemale
Sun SignPisces
Born inCincinnati, Ohio
Famous asHumanitarian, Nurse, Activist
Died at Age73

// Famous Human Rights Activists

Lillian Wald's photo

Who is Lillian Wald?

Lillian D. Wald was an American woman who started her career as a nurse and went on to become a renowned humanitarian and reformer for the less fortunate section of the society. She was the force behind the formation of Visiting Nurse Service and the Henry Street Settlement (New York). Being an advocate of justice and equality she served people from all sections of the society irrespective of their race and class, thereby promoting health and sanitary awareness amongst them. Her consideration for children and women was commendable wherein she worked on reforms pertaining to child labor and women sufferings. Lillian also worked towards promoting world peace through her pacifism and participation in politics during World War I. She tirelessly worked for suffrage and supported racial integration. She played an important role in the foundation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

// Famous Activists

Childhood & Early life

Lillian Wald was born as the third child to Max D. and Minnie Schwartz Wald on March 10, 1867, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Her father who worked as an optical dealer came from a middle class German-Jewish family of scholars and merchants while her mother had Jewish Polish and Jewish German ancestry.

The Wald family shifted to Rochester, New York, during Lillian’s early childhood (1878), and Rochester became the hometown for Lillian.

Coming from an economically sound background, Lillian was enrolled for an expensive private schooling at Miss Cruttenden's English-French Boarding and Day School for Young Ladies where she was trained in French and German.

In 1883, at the young age of sixteen, Lillian tried for Vassar College but was not selected due to age issues. Following this, she spent the next few years travelling and serving as a newspaper correspondent.

At the age of twenty two, she finally ended up joining a nursing program at New York Hospital in August 1889.The inspiration to become a nurse came from a nurse from Bellevue Hospital in New York City she met the same year.

Career

Lillian completed her graduation in March, 1891 under the mentorship of Irene H. Sutliffe, the program’s director of nursing, following which she served at the juvenile asylum for a year and eventually resumed studies at the Woman’s Medical College for her M.D. degree.

During her education at the medical college, she also taught home nursing to people in the eastern region of New York.

She realized the sad state of the immigrants in this area when a little girl asked for help for her ill mother. She came eye to eye with reality of the poor and sick and called the experience as ‘baptism by fire’.

The poor living conditions and the lack of medical aid touched her after which she let go of her education and shifted base to that downtrodden side of New York on Jefferson Street in 1893 with her friend Mary Brewster.

They together set up the ‘Visiting Nurse Service’ in 1893 and later shifted base to Henry Street in 1895. Gradually, the team grew from 9 trained nurses in 1893 to 15 in 1900 and 27 in 1927.

’The Henry settlement’ continued to grow steadily and in 1913 it had nine houses, seven vacation houses, three stock rooms, clinics and a club membership of approximately 3000 people. In 1914, a total of 100 nurses rendered services through the Nurses' Settlement.

Apart from health aid, the Henry Street Settlement offered various other services such as housing, basic education, language and music lessons, also rendering employment in the process.

She also set up recreational services by making the largest playground of the Eastern side of New York and also a playhouse known as the Henry Street Neighborhood Playhouse in 1915.

Seeing Lillian’s philanthropy, Jacob Schiff (coming from a rich influential family of New York Financers) sponsored a house for Lillian’s nursing team on the Henry Street.

The Henry Street Settlement had an advantage over other such settlements as being a non-differential full time service provider in the proximity of the needy whereas other denominational groups emphasized only on members’ needs and relied totally on part time volunteers.

Wald’s work in the field of world peace was also commendable. Being a pacifist and the chairman of the American Union against Militarism (AUAM), she directed her efforts in developing friendly relations with Mexico instead of warfare.

She also worked for world peach by protesting United State’s involvement in the World War I through ‘Women’s Peace Party’ and ‘Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’.

Awards & Achievements

The term 'public health nurse' (influenced by her ways of nursing the poor) was introduced by Lillian; following which; the New York Board of Health finally developed the first public nursing system in the world.

She was the one to introduce the national health insurance plan.

In 1903, Wald helped in the formation of the Women Trade Union League. The National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) was led by Lillian Wald. It emphasized on the need of education and worked against child labor.

She also proposed the need of education for the physically disabled children, lunch programs in school to the New York City Board of Education.

The Columbia University School of Nursing and the Federal Children's Bureau were founded by Lillian Wald in 1912. Following which the Town and Country Nursing Service of the American Red Cross was also established by her.

Lillian Wald was a civil right activist as well and worked for the equality of different races. She founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

Lillian was honored by the Gold Medal of the National Institute of Social Sciences (1912), the Rotary Club Medal, and the Better Times Medal.

Lillian Wald was considered as one of the 12 greatest living American women by the New York Times in 1922.

She was accredited for her commendable work in New York with the Lincoln Medallion.

In 1970 she was elected in ‘the Hall of Fame for Great Americans’. The Lillian Wald Houses on Avenue D in Manhattan were named after her as a token of respect and honor.

Personal Life & Legacy

Lillian was deeply influenced by her grandfather, Gutman Schwartz with whom she spent a major part of her childhood.

Lillian was so devoted to her Henry Street Settlement that she remained unmarried for her entire life. She, however, had a special place in heart for two of her female friends – author Mabel Hyde Kittredge and lawyer Helen Arthur.

By 1925 Lillian struggled with heart ailments and eventually in 1933 she had to quit the Henry Street Settlement due to deteriorating health.

Lillian shifted to Westport, Connecticut, and finally gave up the chairmanship of the Henry Street Settlement board in 1937.

She succumbed to cerebral hemorrhage on September 1, 1940 at her Connecticut house and was cremated at a family plot in Rochester, New York.

As a present on her 70th birthday, a letter from President Franklin Roosevelt was officially read on radio to appreciate Lillian for her selfless and humanitarian efforts for social well-being.

// Famous Nurses

Lillian Wald biography timelines

  • // 10th Mar 1867
    Lillian Wald was born as the third child to Max D. and Minnie Schwartz Wald on March 10, 1867, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • // 1878
    The Wald family shifted to Rochester, New York, during Lillian’s early childhood (1878), and Rochester became the hometown for Lillian.
  • // 1883
    In 1883, at the young age of sixteen, Lillian tried for Vassar College but was not selected due to age issues. Following this, she spent the next few years travelling and serving as a newspaper correspondent.
  • // Aug 1889
    At the age of twenty two, she finally ended up joining a nursing program at New York Hospital in August 1889.The inspiration to become a nurse came from a nurse from Bellevue Hospital in New York City she met the same year.
  • // 1891
    Lillian completed her graduation in March, 1891 under the mentorship of Irene H. Sutliffe, the program’s director of nursing, following which she served at the juvenile asylum for a year and eventually resumed studies at the Woman’s Medical College for her M.D. degree.
  • // 1893
    The poor living conditions and the lack of medical aid touched her after which she let go of her education and shifted base to that downtrodden side of New York on Jefferson Street in 1893 with her friend Mary Brewster.
  • // 1903
    In 1903, Wald helped in the formation of the Women Trade Union League. The National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) was led by Lillian Wald. It emphasized on the need of education and worked against child labor.
  • // 1912
    The Columbia University School of Nursing and the Federal Children's Bureau were founded by Lillian Wald in 1912. Following which the Town and Country Nursing Service of the American Red Cross was also established by her.
  • // 1912
    Lillian was honored by the Gold Medal of the National Institute of Social Sciences (1912), the Rotary Club Medal, and the Better Times Medal.
  • // 1915
    She also set up recreational services by making the largest playground of the Eastern side of New York and also a playhouse known as the Henry Street Neighborhood Playhouse in 1915.
  • // 1922
    Lillian Wald was considered as one of the 12 greatest living American women by the New York Times in 1922.
  • // 1925 To 1933
    By 1925 Lillian struggled with heart ailments and eventually in 1933 she had to quit the Henry Street Settlement due to deteriorating health.
  • // 1937
    Lillian shifted to Westport, Connecticut, and finally gave up the chairmanship of the Henry Street Settlement board in 1937.
  • // 1st Sep 1940
    She succumbed to cerebral hemorrhage on September 1, 1940 at her Connecticut house and was cremated at a family plot in Rochester, New York.
  • // 1970
    In 1970 she was elected in ‘the Hall of Fame for Great Americans’. The Lillian Wald Houses on Avenue D in Manhattan were named after her as a token of respect and honor.

// Famous Humanitarian

Lillian Wald's FAQ

  • What is Lillian Wald birthday?

    Lillian Wald was born at 1867-03-10

  • When was Lillian Wald died?

    Lillian Wald was died at 1940-09-01

  • Where was Lillian Wald died?

    Lillian Wald was died in Westport, Connecticut

  • Which age was Lillian Wald died?

    Lillian Wald was died at age 73

  • Where is Lillian Wald's birth place?

    Lillian Wald was born in Cincinnati, Ohio

  • What is Lillian Wald nationalities?

    Lillian Wald's nationalities is American

  • Which company or organization was founded by Lillian Wald?

    Lillian Wald was the founder/co-founder of The Nurses' Settlement, Women's Trade Union League, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Visiting Nurse Service of New York

  • What is Lillian Wald's sun sign?

    Lillian Wald is Pisces

  • How famous is Lillian Wald?

    Lillian Wald is famouse as Humanitarian, Nurse, Activist