Lillian Moller Gilbreth
Born: May 24, 1878
Lillian Moller Gilbreth was born in Oakland, California on May 24, 1878. Even as a child she displayed a sense of purpose, and strength of character that made Lillian Gilbreth a force to reckon with. She did well in school, and she saw the value in continuing her education after completing high school. Her father believed that Lillian would do better by adopting more traditional ideas of staying in the home, but Lillian was adamant. She won her case and entered the University of California at Berkely. She received a B.A. in literature in 1900, and then her Masters degree in 1902. She married Frank Gilbreth in 1904; together they formed an industrial consulting firm that promoted scientific management principles, and they specialized in areas like time management, workplace efficiency, workplace fatigue and stress, and employee incentive programs.
Lillian Gilbreth was not content to rest on modest successes. She needed to improve, to keep on learning. She continued her own education, and in 1915 she received her Doctorate in psychology from Boston Universtiy. During her life, Gilbreth pioneered many of the theories of modern management, but the true testimony to this woman's relentless drive is the fact that she also made the time to raise twelve children! When her husband died in 1924, she continued to manage the business. She also published books and articles throughout her life. In 1926, she was the first woman to become a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. She lectured and traveled throughout the country, actively working into her 80's. Lillian Moller Gilbreth died in 1972 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Gilbreth documented much of her life in her autobiography As I Remember : An Autobiography by Lillian Gilbreth
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