Gossett, Elizabeth Hughes, 1907-1981

Alternative names
Birth 1907-08-19
Death 1981-04-21

Biographical notes:

Volunteer in local and national community organizations and daughter of Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes. Graduated from Barnard College in 1929, and became active in the Junior League, as a trustee of Barnard College, and as the founder of the United States Supreme Court Historical Society.

From the description of Elizabeth Hughes Gossett photographs. 1948-1979. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 495731168

From the description of Elizabeth Hughes Gossett papers, 1907-1990 bulk 1924-1981. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 495730643

Elizabeth Hughes Gossett was born on August 19, 1907 in the Executive Mansion in Albany, New York while her father, Charles Evans Hughes, was serving as the state's Governor. In 1919, at age 11, Elizabeth developed juvenile diabetes, and, by the age of 14, her health had deteriorated significantly. In 1922, her mother, Antoinette Carter Hughes, contacted Dr. Frederick Banting in Toronto, and young Elizabeth began receiving insulin shots, an experimental treatment at the time. Her health improved so significantly after beginning insulin treatments that she returned to school in 1923, and went on to graduate from Barnard College in 1929.

In 1930, Elizabeth married William T. Gossett, and continued to live in the New York City metropolitan area until 1947 when she and William moved to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. They would have three children: Antoinette Carter Gossett, William Thomas Gossett Jr., and Elizabeth Evans Gossett.

During her time in Detroit Gossett became actively involved in many community activities, including the Junior League, the United Nations Detroit Board, the Board of Trustees of the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and as a benefactor of Oakland University. She also served on the Board of Trustees for Barnard College, her alma mater, and as the founder and president of the United States Supreme Court Historical Society from 1972 to 1979. In 1979 she received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from New York Law School. She also actively supported activities and events that honored her father's contributions to American society as Governor of New York (1907-1910), Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1910-1916), Secretary of State (1921-1925), and Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1930-1941).

Elizabeth Hughes Gossett died on April 21, 1981. The Hughes-Gossett Awards of the United States Supreme Court Historical Society have been named in her honor, and continue to be awarded yearly to the best student paper on the history of the court.

From the guide to the Elizabeth Hughes Gossett papers, 1907-1990, 1924-1981, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)


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  • Travel
  • Charity work--Michigan."lctgm"
  • Volunteers--Michigan
  • War damage
  • War damage--Germany--Cologne
  • Travel--Europe
  • Volunteers


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  • Cologne (Germany) (as recorded)
  • Cologne (Germany) (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • Germany--Cologne (as recorded)
  • Michigan (as recorded)