Open main menu

Mary van Kleeck (June 26, 1883 – June 8, 1972)[1] was an American social feminist active as a proponent of scientific management and a planned economy.

Mary van Kleeck
VAN GLECK, MARY LOC hec.10458.jpg
Mary Abby Van Kleeck

June 26, 1883
Glenham, New York
DiedJune 8, 1972(1972-06-08) (aged 88)
Kingston, New York
Alma materSmith College
OccupationSocial activist

Kleeck attended Smith College from 1900 to 1904, and became involved in the Smith College Association for Christian Work through which she encountered the YWCA, with which she remained affiliated for the remainder of her life.[1] After graduation she worked for the College Settlement Association in Rivington Street, New York City.[2]

Alongside, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mary Van Kleeck was co-vice president of the Women's City Club of New York which had been founded in 1915.[3] She also wrote an excerpt in Journal of Political Economy the stating that working girls should be able to have more accelerated studies of any kind whether at night school or during the day. It was published in May 1915.[4]

Kleeck gained support from the Russell Sage Foundation shortly after its foundation in 1907, which was the start of a relationship which would last for forty years.[5] Van Kleeck also happened to have connections with the United States Women's Bureau because she was concerned with women’s unemployment rate. Beforehand, she had outlined the bill that created the United States Women's Bureau in 1920.[6]

From 1928 she was active in the International Industrial Relations Institute, which she co-led with Mary Fleddérus. In 1944 she co-wrote Technology and Livelihood with Fleddérus.

She became a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 1945.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Sophia Smith Collection: Mary van Kleeck Papers, 1849-1998". Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  2. ^ McClurken, Kara M. "van Kleeck, Mary". Social Welfare History Project. The Social Welfare History Project. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  3. ^ Ware, Susan (September 1989). Partner and I: Molly Dewson, Feminism, and New Deal Politics. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0300046212.
  4. ^ Van Kleeck, Mary (May 1915). "Working Girls in Evening School". Journal of Political Economy. 23 (5): 528. doi:10.1086/252676. JSTOR 1819349.
  5. ^ Alchon, Guy (1992). Nelson, Daniel (ed.). A Mental Revolution: Scientific Management since Taylor (PDF). Columbus Ohio: Ohio State University Press.
  6. ^ "Mary Abby Van Kleeck | A Biographical Dictionary of Women Economists - Credo Reference". Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  7. ^ List of ASA Fellows, retrieved 2016-07-16.