Edith Abbott was one of the most important women involved in the foundation of social work as a profession, she wasn’t only a social worker but also an economist, educator and author. Edith was born in September 25, 1876 in Grand Island, Nebraska, daughter of Elizabeth Griffin an abolitionist and women’s suffrage leader and Otheman Abbott the first Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska and her sister and colleague was Grace Abbott who was also involve in public welfare and social problems.
Edith went to Brownell Hall High School a girls boarding school on Omaha, but her family could not send her to college for economic reasons so she started teaching high school in Grand Island while she was taking correspondence courses and summer classes until she was able to earned a degree from the University of Nebraska in 1901, but she continued working and her education for two more years until she got her doctoral degree in economics from the University of Chicago in 1905, but she went beyond when she received a Carnegie Fellowship and continued her study at the London School of Economics. While studying in London she lived in in a social reformers settlement house where she gained experience in social work but a little after that she returned home and taught economics at Wellesley College. She lived with her sister, Grace, at Hull House from 1908 to 1920, associating with the men and women who worked in support of Jane Addams and her social reform causes, it was there when she got very inspired about Social Work.
Her teaching years finished when she became Assistant Director of the Research Department of the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy, which later became the School of Social Service Administration this was the first graduate school of social work. In 1924 Edith Abbott became the first women in the United States to become the dean of an American graduate school, she worked there until 1942. Abbott's contributions were unique, significant, and big. She gave a particular importance to the essential need of a public welfare administration, the need for a more humane social welfare system, and the responsibility of the state in relation to social problems, and the