Remembered for her activist work on behalf of immigrants and children, this American social worker and sociologist of the early 20th century served as Director of the U.S. Children's Bureau's Labour Division and, as such, oversaw the implementation of the Keating-Owen Act of 1916.
She graduated from Grand Island College in the late 1890s and worked as a teacher before earning a graduate degree in social work from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After relocating to Illinois, she obtained an advanced degree in political science from the University of Chicago and later became a professor at the same institution.
Her publications include The Child and the State (1938) and The Immigrant and the Community (1917). At the end of her life, she worked for the Social Security Administration, where she helped formulate the Social Security Act.
Born in Grand Island, Nebraska, to Elizabeth Griffin and Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Othman Ali Abbott, she and her sister, Edith Abbott, were both influential social workers.
Upon moving to Chicago in the early 1900s, she lived in Hull House, a residence established by her fellow social worker Jane Addams.