Archives On The Air 136: The Solid Gold Cadillac—Wilma Soss Papers

Apr 1, 2019

Wilma Soss liked to say she wasn't born like other people. She erupted in a San Francisco earthquake.

Soss fought for women's rights as stockholders. 

In 1947 she bought a single stock in U.S. Steel to attend their shareholder meeting. At the meeting, she pointed out that most U.S. Steel stockholders were women, but the board of directors was all men.

Soss founded the Federation of Women Shareholders In American Business. The group urged companies to simplify stockholder statements and have more women in boardrooms.

In 1953 a play called "The Solid Gold Cadillac" debuted. The main character is similar to Soss. When asked about his inspiration playwright George Kaufman said: "Wilma Soss? Never heard of her. If she goes to another stockholder's meeting, we'll sue her for plagiarism."

The Wilma Soss papers are available at UW's American Heritage Center.