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Lori Johnson-Vegas, 2023 National Mother of the Year®

The first Mother of the Year® award was presented in 1935 under the leadership of Sara Delano Roosevelt, Honorary Chairman of the American Mothers Committee of the Golden Rule Foundation. The award was presented to Lucy Keen Johnson from Georgia, a widowed mother of five and Dean of Women at Wesleyan College. The recognition of an “admirable” mother was made to provide an inspiration to the nation who would represent a mother’s unconditional love, inner strength, and courage.

Every year since, American Mothers, Inc. has named a Mother of the Year® from nominees across the 50 states, District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for this important honor. Mother of the Year® is a registered trademark of American Mothers, Inc.

Many outstanding individuals throughout America have served as officers, leaders, supporters and award recipients of this organization such as Sarah Delano Roosevelt, J.C. Penney, First Lady Mamie Eisenhower, Norman Vincent Peale, Congresswoman Lindy Boggs, Phyllis Marriott and Hillary Rodham Clinton. 

Nominations for Mother of the Year® are open from Mothers Day thru September 15th each year.

2023 Mothers of the Year

Past National Mothers of the Year®

2022 Doris Donley, Colorado

2022 Mothers of the Year

2021 Dr. Mautra Stanley Jones

2020 Dr. LaTarsha Holden, Georgia

2019 Dr. Renae Reinardy, North Dakota

2018 Karen Smoots, Michigan

2017 Rebecca Latham, New Mexico

2016 Michelle Wall, Delaware

2015 Deb Stanaland, Oklahoma

2014 Gerre Schwert, Tennessee

2013 Judy Cook, Utah

2012 Dr. Ruby Cheves, Georgia

2011 Ernestine Allen, District of Columbia

2010 Dianne Dain Callister, California

2009 Betty Jean Ulmer McGregor, South Carolina

2008 Jo Ellen Blackwood, West Virginia

2007 Ileen Loosle Barlow, Oregon

2006 Laurie Richardson, Nevada

2005 Helen Bean, Oregon

2004 Mary Connelly Kegelman, Delaware

2003 Mervlyn Keapo Swain Kitashima, Hawaii

2002 Rosalie Fuscaldo Gaziano, West Virginia

2001 Jean “Dawn” Morris, South Dakota

2000 Dorothy E. Barta, Texas

1999 Gail Ford Williamson, California

1998 Diane Stirland Matthews, Arizona

1997 Deen Day Smith, Georgia

1996 Carolyn Shumway, Hawaii

1995 Barbara Thompson, Oklahoma

1994 Corrine “Lindy” Boggs, District of Columbia*

1993 Ruby Washington, Nebraska

1992 Johanna Cubbage, Wyoming

1991 Joan R. Burney, Nebraska

1990 Nadine M. Matus, Utah

1989 Nancy Dinwiddie Hawk, South Carolina*

1988 Thelma Loss Kouzes, Virginia

1987 Rita Whalen McCaffrey, Vermont

1986 Martha Burke, Montana*

1985 Louise Monaco Cimino, Nebraska

1984 Patricia Kane Hamilton, Georgia

1983 Clemmie Webber, South Carolina*

1982 Helen Marie Burnstad Thompson, Idaho*

1981 Henrietta Jean Wombles Crouch, Kansas

1980 Betty Carol Leggett Lieder, Iowa

1979 Frances Davis Burtenshaw, Utah

1978 Ellen Edens McCall, Tennessee

1977 Gloria Berry Langdon, Oklahoma*

1976 Maxine Carnett Grindstaff, New Mexico

1975 Josephine Wainman Burson, Tennessee

1974 Phyllis Brown Marriott, District of Columbia*

1974 Golda Meir, World Mother, Israel*

1973 Ruth Youngdahl Nelson, Minnesota*

1972 Esther Hunt Moore, North Carolina

1971 Betty Anthony Zahn, Oklahoma*

1970 Dorothy Lee Wilson, Tennessee*

1969 E. Peterson LeTourneau, Texas*

1968 Elisabeth Grossman Bodine, North Dakota*

1967 Minnie Knoop Guenther, Arizona*

1966 Bertha Holt, Oregon*

1965 Lorena Chipman Fletcher, Utah*

1964 Cora Hjertaa Stavig, South Dakota*

1963 Olga Pearson Engdahl, Nebraska

1962 Clara Spoat Glen, World Mother, Ohio*

1962 Mary Celesta Weatherly, Alabama*

1961 Louise Giddings Currey, Tennessee*

1960 Emerald Barman Arbogast, California

1959 Jeannie Loitman Barron, Massachusetts*

1958 Mary Roper Coker, South Carolina*

1957 Hazel Hempel Able, Nebraska*

1956 Jane Maxwell Pritchard, Michigan*

1955 Lavina Christensen Fugal, Utah*

1954 Love McDuffie Tolbert, Georgia*

1953 Ethlyn Weisgarver Bott, Illinois*

1952 Toy Len Goon, Maine*

1951 Mary Martin Sloop, North Carolina*

1950 Elizabeth Roe Cloud, Oregon*

1949 Pearl Owens Grills, Texas*

1948 Helen Gartside Hines, Illinois*

1947 Janette Stevenson Murray, Iowa*

1946 Emma Clarissa Clemont, Kentucky*

1945 Georgiana Farr Sibley, New York*

1944 Harriet Duff Phillips, Pennsylvania*

1943 Mary Dabney Thompson, Ohio*

1942 Elizabeth Vize Berry, North Carolina*

1941 Dena Shelby Diehl, Kentucky*

1940 Edith Graham Mayo, Minnesota*

1939 Otelia Katherine Compton, Ohio*

1938 Grace Noll Crowell, Texas*

1937 Harriette Flora Gray, Nebraska*

1936 Frances Elenore Smith, California*

1935 Lucy Keen Johnson, Georgia*

A complete listing of the official 2018 State Mothers of the Year can be found here.

A complete listing of the official 2017 State Mothers of the Year can be found here.

Looking for past honorees? American Mothers has chronicled the past 80 years of women recognized by the organization. Contact us at if you are searching information on a specific past honoree. Please provide as much information as possible including the year, award, and name of the recipient in your email.