On Jan. 6, 1975, Capitol onlookers burst into applause when Kathryn “Katie” Morrison’s name was called to take the oath of office. The cheers erupted again when she signed her name in the official register and again with each subsequent mention of her name. In Wisconsin’s nearly 127 years of statehood, it finally had its first female state senator.
Morrison died Sunday at Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg after a battle with breast cancer. She was 71.
A Madison native, Morrison graduated from East High School before earning a bachelor’s degree and Master’s of Business Administration from UW-Madison.
In 1974, Morrison was working as an economics professor at UW-Platteville when she went to the Capitol to do some lobbying.
“I watched those guys (the legislators) and said, ‘My god, I can do that,’” she said during a Wisconsin Women’s Political Caucus workshop held the Saturday after her swearing-in ceremony.
Friday, July 5, 2013
Last weekend, we lost a real trailblazer for women in the state: