Louise Raggio (’52), the Dallas attorney for whom SMU’s Louise Ballerstedt Raggio Endowed Lecture Series in Women’s Studies is named, will be the focus of a television documentary airing on public television. Texas Trailblazer: Louise Raggio is scheduled to air on KERA at 9:30 p.m. Mar. 19, 5:30 a.m. Mar. 23, and 11 p.m. Mar. 24.
Raggio has done more to ensure the protection of women’s legal rights in Texas than any other person in history. The only woman in her SMU law school class in 1952, she went on to become the first woman prosecutor in the Dallas County district attorney’s office. As a direct result of Mrs. Raggio’s efforts in drafting the Texas Marital Property Act of 1967, women gained the legal right to own property, secure a bank loan and start a business without their husband’s consent. Following this historical accomplishment, Mrs. Raggio established a law practice and was soon named one of the top 10 attorneys in the country.
The Raggio Lecture brings nationally renowned leaders to the University to speak on gender and women’s issues. Launched in 1998, the program has featured such speakers as author and feminist Gloria Steinem, U.S. Representative Patricia Schroeder, feminist author Susan Faludi, former Texas governor Ann Richards, and Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp.