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Susan W. Ware Edit Profile

assistant , lecturer , professor , scholar

Susan Ware , is an independent scholar, writer and editor who lives in Cambridge, MA and Hopkinton, NH.


Ware, Susan W. was born on August 22, 1950 in Washington, District of Columbia, United States. Daughter of Charles Kline and Charlotte McConnell Wolfe.


Ware graduated from Wellesley College in 1972. She matriculated in the graduate program in history at Harvard University in the fall of 1972, completed her A.M in 1973, a Ph.D. in history at Harvard in 1978.


She served as a lecturer at Harvard from 1973-1978, and in the next eight years taught at Tufts University, the University of New Hampshire and Harvard. In 1986, she was appointed as an assistant professor of history at New York University. Since leaving NYU she has taught at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In 2014, upon the retirement of historian Nancy Cott, Ware was appointed as Senior Advisor to the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, while the Library searches for a new director. Her revised dissertation, Beyond Suffrage: Women and the New Deal (Harvard University Press, 1981) was the first historical monograph to show the pivotal role played by feminist progressive reformers like Francis Perkins and Molly Dewson in implementing social welfare at the federal level. Ware's research on women has been influential across fields.

Since becoming an independent scholar, Ware has published three books and edited four. In 2001, she became the general editor of Notable American Women, a multi-volume reference work that documents the history of women in the United States, Under Ware's direction, Harvard University Press published Volume 5 of this crucial biographical resource in 2004. Since 2012, Ware has been the general editor of American National Biography Online, published by Oxford University Press.

Ware is married to Donald R. Ware, chair of the Intellectual Property Department at Foley, Hoag LLP in Boston.


  • Ware attained the rank of associate professor with tenure before she left in 1995 to pursue a full-time career in writing, editing and speaking.



The author of eight biographies, two edited collections, and co-editor of a textbook, Ware is a specialist on twentieth century women's political and cultural history, and the history of popular feminism. In her early work as a political historian, Ware established herself as an authority on women in the federal government during the New Deal. As Nancy F. Cott wrote in a review of Ware's book, perhaps its most vital contribution to the field of women's history was its emphasis on "historical generation" and its recognition that political women "relied on each other for mutual support, advice and patronage"—much as political men did.

Political scientist Jo Freeman rated Ware's follow up volume, Partner and I: Molly Dewson, Feminism, and New Deal Politics, as "excellent." Ware showed how Dewson not only brought hundreds of women into the federal government, but also revolutionized presidential campaign practices to such an extent that presidential advisor James Farley referred to her as "the General.".


Married Donald R. Ware, June 10, 1972.

Charles Kline

Charlotte McConnell Wolfe

Donald R. Ware