Kathryn E. Granahan

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Kathryn Elizabeth Granahan
32nd Treasurer of the United States
In office
January 9, 1963 – November 22, 1966
PresidentJohn F. Kennedy
Lyndon Johnson
Preceded byElizabeth Rudel Smith
Succeeded byDorothy Andrews Elston Kabis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 2nd district
In office
November 6, 1956 – January 3, 1963
Preceded byWilliam T. Granahan
Succeeded byRobert N. C. Nix Sr.
Personal details
Kathryn Elizabeth O'Hay

December 7, 1894
Easton, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedJuly 10, 1979(1979-07-10) (aged 84)
Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseWilliam T. Granahan
Alma materChestnut Hill College

Kathryn Elizabeth Granahan (December 7, 1894 – July 10, 1979) was an American politician. She served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania and as the Treasurer of the United States, having been appointed by President John F. Kennedy.

Granahan was a member of the Democratic Party and was the first woman to be elected to the United States Congress from Philadelphia.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Born Kathryn Elizabeth O'Hay in Easton, Pennsylvania, all four of her grandparents were Irish immigrants.[2] She graduated from Mount St. Joseph Collegiate Institute in Philadelphia, which was later renamed Chestnut Hill College.


She was supervisor of public assistance in the State Auditor General's Department, and liaison officer between that department and Department of Public Assistance, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 1940 to 1943. She was a member of national board, Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania and a delegate to the 1960 Democratic National Convention.


Her husband, Rep. William T. Granahan served in Congress from 1945 to 1947 and from 1949 until his death in 1956. His death came shortly after the 1956 primary election and the Democratic Party in Philadelphia selected Kathryn to succeed her husband in both the special election and general election. She was simultaneously elected to serve out her husband's term in the 84th United States Congress and a term in the 85th United States Congress in her own right.[3]

She served as chair of the House Subcommittee on Postal Operations, and worked with Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield to pass the Granahan bill "to seize and detain the mail of anyone suspected of trafficking in obscenity."[4]

Treasurer of the United States[edit]

After the 1960 census, Pennsylvania was expected to lose three seats in redistricting. The Democratic Party leadership chose Granahan's seat as one of those to be eliminated. Rep. Bill Green secured her assurance not to run in the 1962 elections. In return, Green convinced then U.S. president John F. Kennedy to appoint her as Treasurer of the United States.[3]

She began her term as Treasurer on January 9, 1963 after her term in Congress ended. In 1965, Granahan suffered a blood clot after a fall and worked a reduced schedule afterwards. In 1966, an effort to declare her incompetent failed; however, she resigned four months later.[3]

Television appearances[edit]

Granahan made guest appearances on What's My Line? on March 3, 1963, and To Tell the Truth in November 1963.[5]


Granahan died in Norristown, Pennsylvania on July 10, 1979.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kathryn O'Day Granahan Dies; A Former Head of U.S. Treasury". New York Times. 1979-07-13.
  2. ^ "United States Census, 1900", FamilySearch, retrieved March 24, 2018
  3. ^ a b c "Granahan, Kathryn Elizabeth". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  4. ^ Independent Lens
  5. ^ To Tell the Truth 7x39 "James White, Barry Langford, Catherine O'Hay Granahan", retrieved 2016-09-13


U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district

1956 - 1963
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by Treasurer of the United States
Succeeded by