Mother of the Year ®

The idea of a Mothers Committee began in 1931 when Eleanor Roosevelt announced the formation of a nation-wide program for the better observance of Mother's Day that would help dependent mothers and needy children.  Sponsored by JC Penny's Golden Rule Foundation, the Golden Rule Mothers Day Committee established a fund to promote a "Golden Rule observance of Mother's Day."  

By 1933, committees were formed in most every state and expressed the philosophy that "the truest tribute that can be paid to Mother is to share with others the love that she so generously and often sacrificially lavished upon us." The funds established were distributed to local hospitals, homes for the aged, orphanages, churches and other welfare agencies to be used where needed most.

By 1935, the American Mothers Committee of the Golden Rule Foundation gathered New York City’s elite at the Waldorf Astoria where Sarah Delano Roosevelt, the Committee's Honorary Chairman, presented Lucy Keen Johnson from Georgia as the first American Mother of the Year®. The recognition of a "great" mother was made so as to provide an inspiration to the nation that would represent a mother's unconditional love, inner strength and courage.  

It was written that Lucy Johnson embodied the highest qualities found in the typical American mother at the time. She was the mother of six and educated at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia.  At the age of 21, she married and moved to Ithaca, New York, where her husband practiced law.  Her husband's death in 1914 left her with a large family to care for.  She became Dean of Women at her alma mater, and put all of her children through college. In her role as Dean, it was said she mothered not only her own children, but all of the students on campus.

Since 1935, American Mothers  has recognized ordinary mothers who have been extraordinary in their role. Moms who come from all walks of life, different states, different faiths, and various cultural and educational backgrounds. Mothers who are making a significant difference, not just with their own children and families, but who have made a positive impact in their communities, their states, and our nation.  For the past 80 years, American Mothers, Inc.® has continued this rich tradition of honoring, educating and serving mothers who have made a positive difference in their communities and whose accomplishments are an inspiration to all. 

The remarkable women recognized by this organization are genuine examples of that ‘typical’ American mother. They embody all of the admirable qualities for which that first honor was given and their stories are truly amazing! We encourage you to nominate that inspirational mom in your community for one of our awards.