Utah History to Go
Reva Beck Bosone

Florence Ellinwood Allen | Fortunato Anselmo | Edwina Booth | Reva Beck Bosone | John Eugene Broaddus | Arthur L. Chaffin | Edward Wilbur Clyde | Harold Drake, Sr. | Lantie Jesse Eldred | Anne Marie Fox Felt | John Dennis Fitzgerald | Harvey Fletcher | Russell G. Frazier | Lavina Christensen Fugal | Nettie Grimes Gregory | Otto Abels Harbach | Charles Warner Lockerbie | Russell Lowell Maughan | William Henry McDougall | Phyllis McGinley | Harvey Natchees | Katherine Fenton Nutter | Ivy Baker Priest | Ada Williams Quinn | Alma Wilford Richards | Harold Wallace Ross | Maria L. Salazar y Trujillo | Arthur William Sampson | Mattie Clark Sanford | Virginia Tanner | Kuniko Muramatsu Terasawa | Leora Thatcher | George Von Elm | Ruey Hazlet Wiesley

Utah's first congresswoman, she also had a distinguished judicial career.

Reva Beck Bosone was the first woman in Utah to hold many of the positions to which she won election or was appointed during her long career. She gave her parents much of the credit for her success because they provided the same educational opportunities for her as for her brothers.

She was born April 2, 1895, in American Fork to Zilpha Ann Chipman and Christian M. Beck. She graduated from the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute (now Westminster College) in 1917 and later received a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley. After teaching school for several years she studied law at the University of Utah, receiving an L.L.B. degree in 1930. She had married fellow law student Joseph P. Bosone in 1929, and the couple practiced law initially in Carbon County. They had one daughter, Zilpha. They later divorced.

In 1932 Reva won election to the state legislature as a Democrat. The Bosones moved to Salt Lake City the following year, so Reva campaigned for reelection in 1934 representing a different district. Fellow Democrats named her majority floor leader. Her chief accomplishment in the Utah House was sponsorship of the minimum wage/hours law for women and children, which also set up the Women's Division within the State Industrial Commission.

During 1936-48, as an elected Salt Lake City judge, Bosone became noted for the stiff penalties she handed out to traffic offenders. The National Safety Council recognized her for improving Salt Lake City's poor traffic safety record. As a city judge she also promoted rehabilitation for alcoholics and served on the State Board for Education on Alcoholism. Rising juvenile delinquency rates during World War II concerned her as well. In a 1943 interview in the Deseret News Judge Bosone admonished parents, saying: "Before you have a child delinquent, you have delinquent parents.... The child's actions and attitude toward life reflect his home teachings."

She won election to Congress in Utah's 2nd District in 1948 and again in 1950. She was a member of the House Interior Committee and supported various water, power, and conservation projects for Utah and the West. She also advocated women's rights, Indian rights, and equal educational opportunities for all years before they were popular issues. For example, in a 1947 speech to a national women's convention in New York she warned against legislation pending in some states that gave the entire disposition of community property to the husband.

Defeated in her 1952 reelection bid by Republican William A. Dawson, Bosone felt that her career had come to a standstill until the Subcommittee on Safety and Compensation of the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor hired her as its legal counsel in 1957, a position she held until 1960.

In 1961 she was named the chief judicial officer of the U.S. Post Office Department. She heard cases involving mail fraud, tampering with the mails, and various postal regulations. When she retired in 1968 Postmaster General Lawrence F. O'Brien noted: "Judge Bosone has always been guided by a keen sense of justice and equity. Her ability in establishing the merits of a case is reflected in the extent to which her decisions have been affirmed in the federal courts."

Bosone received many awards, including an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Utah in 1977. In 1970 UC Berkeley named her one of 39 outstanding graduates of the previous 50 years.
She died July 21, 1983, in Virginia.

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