Golda Meir, the first female prime minister of Israel, spent much of her childhood and her early years as an adult in Wisconsin. She was born in Kiev in 1898— then part of Russia — but her family fled Jewish persecution in 1906, immigrating to America. No U.S. president has been born or raised in Wisconsin.
Meir’s family settled in Milwaukee, where she became a teacher at a Yiddish-speaking school. Meir moved to British-controlled Palestine with her husband in 1921. Meir was heavily involved in the Zionist movement, helping to create the state of Israel following World War II.
When Israel’s prime minister died in 1969, the Labor Party supported Meir as the next prime minister. She served as prime minister until 1974, resigning after the Yom Kippur War ended. She died four years later in 1978 due to leukemia.
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Wisconsin Women Making History: Golda Meir
Wisconsin Historical Society: Golda Meir