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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dixy Lee Ray

In office
1977 – 1981
Preceded by Daniel J. Evans
Succeeded by John Spellman

Born September 3, 1914(1914-09-03)
Tacoma, Washington
Died January 2, 1994 (aged 79)
Fox Island, Washington
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Never married
Profession Marine biologist

Dixy Lee Ray (September 3, 1914–January 2, 1994) was the 17th Governor of the U.S. State of Washington. She was Washington's first female governor.

She was born Marguerite Ray in Tacoma to Frances Adams Ray and Alvis Marion Ray (a commercial printer).[1] Marguerite was second in a family of five girls. At twelve, she changed her name to "Dixy Lee". She attended Tacoma's Stadium High School, graduated as valedictorian from Mills College in Oakland, California in 1937, and with a master's degree in 1938 with her thesis entitled "A Comparative Study of the Life Habits of Some Species of Burrowing Eumalacostraca". She earned her PhD from Stanford University in Palo Alto. Her doctoral dissertation was "The peripheral nervous system of Lampanyctus leucopsarus," completed in 1945 at the Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, California.[2]

Ray was a marine biologist and taught at the University of Washington from 1947 until 1972. In 1952 she received a prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship grant for Biology.[3]

From 1963 until 1972, Dr. Ray became the director of Seattle's Pacific Science Center, guiding its future after the founding as part of the 1962 World's Fair. An advocate of nuclear power, she was appointed by Richard Nixon to chair the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission in 1973 and was the only woman to serve as chair of the AEC.

A Democrat, she won the governorship in Washington in 1976, but quickly astonished her supporters with her strongly conservative views. She was governor when Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980. She lost in the 1980 Democratic primary election to then-State Senator Jim McDermott, who went on to lose in the general election to moderate Republican John D. Spellman.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) established an award in Dixy Lee Ray's honor for engineering contributions to the field of environmental protection in 1998. The award, which consists of a bronze medal with the governor's likeness and $1000 was first given to Clyde W. Frank in 1999 and has been made annually since.[4]

She co-authored two books critical of the environmentalist movement with Lou Guzzo. Her papers are archived at the Hoover Institution and are catalogued online.[5]

The quality of scholarship used for her first book "Environmental Overkill" has been called into question. A detailed critical analysis of the chapters on ozone depletion was published in a report by R. Parsons of the University of Colorado.[6]


  • Ware, Susan; Lorraine Braukman, Stacy Braukman (2004). Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary Completing the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, MA: Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University Press. pp. 538–539. ISBN 067401488X.  
  • Grinstein, Louise S; Carol A. Biermann, Rose K. Rose (1997). Women in the Biological Sciences: A Biobibliographic Sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group,. pp. 424–432. ISBN 0313291802.  
  • Ray, Dixy Lee; Louis R. Guzzo (1994). Environmental Overkill. New York: Harper Perennial. pp. 260 pages. ISBN 0060975989.  
  • Ray, Dixy Lee; Louis R. Guzzo (1992). Trashing the Planet: How Science Can Help Us Deal With Acid Rain, Depletion of the Ozone, and Nuclear Waste (Among Other Things). New York: Harper Perennial. pp. 206 pages. ISBN 0060974907.  
  • Ray, Dixy Lee (1973). The Nation's Energy Future: A Report to Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (for sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off.). pp. 175 pages. ISBN predates.  
  • Ray, Dixy Lee (1959). Marine Boring and Fouling Organisms. Seattle WA: University of Washington Press. ISBN predates.  
  • Ray, Dixy Lee (1950), "The peripheral nervous system of lampanyctus leucopsarus", Journal of Morphology (Wiley Interscience) 87 (1): 61–178, ISBN predates  
  • Ray, Dixy Lee (1945). The peripheral nervous system of lampanyctus leucopsarus. Pacific Grove, CA: Hopkins Marine Station. pp. 360 pages. ISBN predates (Note reference above).  
  • Ray, Dixy Lee (1938). A Comparative Study of the Life Habits of Some Species of Burrowing Eumalacostraca. Oakland CA: Mills College. pp. 24 pages. ISBN predates.  

External links

Template:Persondata Micheal Jackson



Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Dixie Lee Ray article)

From Wikiquote

Dixie Lee Ray (September 3, 1914January 2, 1994) was a Democratic politician and the seventeenth governor of Washington State in the United States 1977-1981, making her the first woman to hold that position.


  • A nuclear power plant is infinitely safer than eating, because 300 people choke to death on food every year.
  • All ships carry oil.
    • On her controversial plan to allow supertankers into Puget Sound.
  • The average person has one breast and one testicle.
    • On the danger of using averages as statistics.

External links

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