Nellie Tayloe Ross was the first woman in the United States to serve as governor of a state, plus the first female director of the United State Mint.
Ross was elected governor of Wyoming in 1924, when her husband, incumbent governor Democrat William Bradford Ross, died just prior to re-election. While in office from 1924-1926, she did not accomplish much, as she was a Democrat in a primarily Republican state. However, her graciousness and business-like manner gained her great respect.
Ross lost her re-election bid to a Republican candidate in 1926, yet she remained active in politics and served as the vice-chairwoman for the Democratic National Committee, working closely with Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt named Ross director of the United States Mint, a position she held for 20 years.