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Mrs. Ambassador

Mrs. Ambassador

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The Life and Politics of Eugenie Anderson

Author Mary Dupont

Minnesota Historical Society Press (March 1, 2019)

The biography of a Minnesota politician who drew attention to civil rights and democratic values and engaged in "people's diplomacy" by reaching out to everyday citizens at home and abroad.


Daughter. Sister. Wife. Mother. Diplomat. Eugenie Anderson of Red Wing, Minnesota, played many roles in a life that virtually spanned the twentieth century. She cherished her family but purposefully sought a larger stage, one on which she could affect world events and contribute to a brighter future.

Motivated by concern over the rise of communism, Anderson brought energy and eloquence to the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, becoming a friend and lifelong advisor to Hubert Humphrey. Anderson achieved historic diplomatic status when President Harry Truman appointed her the first woman ambassador for the United States with a post to Denmark in 1949. She went on to serve in Communist Bulgaria and at the United Nations. Tirelessly advocating for human rights, Anderson pushed against expectations set by society and the media and in the process demonstrated that diplomacy’s requisite skills-intelligence, poise, determination-are held by women and men alike.

In Mrs. Ambassador, Eugenie Anderson's granddaughter Mary Dupont explores a political life led with certainty about what Anderson stood for as a representative of the United States and a personal life led with just as much assurance. The result: an enticing narrative about a mid-twentieth-century politician who championed democratic ideals at home and around the world.

Author information

Mary Dupont is a writer and photographer specializing in midwestern social and family history and photo preservation efforts. She lives along the Mississippi River bluffs near St. Paul; she and her husband have three children. Mrs. Ambassador is her first book.

Reviews and news

Pioneer Press
Red Wing Republican Eagle
TPT's Almanac
Minnesota Women's Press
Lillie News
KSMQ (Segment from 00:53 to 08:15)
Washington Diplomat

Advance Praise:

“Eugenie Anderson was one of the giants of the DFL Party—a gifted, scholarly, kindly, totally aware person. This smart look at her political and personal life explores the motivations and inspirations that equipped her to do battle on behalf of democracy, at home and around the world.”
Walter Mondale

“No history of US diplomacy and national and Minnesota politics is complete without understanding Ambassador Eugenie Anderson’s considerable influence. This book shines a well-deserved light on this remarkable pioneer and her steadfast commitment to our democratic ideals. We can all learn a lot from Eugenie—and how she kept her place ‘in the room where it happens’ throughout her incredible career.”
Congresswoman Betty McCollum

“Timely and informative, this engaging, deeply researched biography of diplomat and Minnesota politician Eugenie Anderson is a must read. Mary Dupont has written the definitive life story of an often-overlooked trailblazer for human rights—both at home and abroad.”
Michael Brenes, Lecturer in Global Affairs and Senior Archivist for American Diplomacy, Yale University


Related resources

MNopedia: Helen Eugenie Moore Anderson
Minnesota History: Ambassador Eugenie Anderson
MNHS Gale Library Resources
MNHS Inventory of Eugenie M. Anderson Papers

  • This title is also available at your favorite e-book vendor.
  • 304 pages
  • 35 b&w photos, notes, index, bibliography
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • ISBN: 9781681341279

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