Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
Donna Novak Coles Georgia Women's Movement Archives
Norma Jeanne Taylor, civic activist and businesswoman, was born in Alma, Georgia in 1932. She graduated from Bacon County (GA) High School in 1949, and attended Berry College (Rome, GA), 1949-1951. She went on to attend Jacksonville Jr. and Massey Business Colleges in Jacksonville, Florida (graduating in 1953), and studied business law and elementary psychology at the University of Georgia, Waycross Center, 1957-1958. Jeanne married Al (William Alpheus) Cahill in 1959. She worked as Industrial News editor with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1962-1965, and then with various family businesses until 1972, when she became president of Cahill Properties, Inc., a company specializing in land development and real estate. Appointed in 1972 to the Georgia Commission on the Status of Women, Cahill became chair in 1973, and in 1974 she became the Commission's first and only paid executive director. The position was funded for one year only. She was appointed to the White House Conference on Families in 1979, was a member of the Georgia Coordinating Committee for the Observance of International Women's Year, and was also a member of the board of directors of ERA Georgia, Inc. Active in Democratic politics, Cahill supported Jimmy Carter in both gubernatorial and presidential races and served as a delegate to the 1974 and 1978 Democratic National Conventions. In 1975-1976, she campaigned for a seat in the state House of Representatives, but was unsuccessful in her bid against incumbent Ken Nix. Founder and CEO of Advanced Fitness Systems, 1981-1994, Cahill was also president of the Buckhead Business Association, 1994, vice president of the Epilepsy Foundation of America, 1982-1994, and in 1995 was vice president of the Georgia Student Finance Commission. Cahill has been involved in many civic organizations, including the Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs, the Cobb County (GA) Symphony, N.W. Georgia Girl Scout Council and Leadership Atlanta.
Abstract of the full interview
Butler stayed at home with her two children until her son was in 11th grade. At this time, she states, she was invited to work for the Georgia AFL-CIO as a secretary. She remained with the organization for 18 years. She describes her experiences in the labor movement, and her efforts to convey information about the Equal Rights Amendment to the labor community, and in particular to her own union, the OPEIU (Office and Professional Employees International Union). She also talks about her work (with the AFL-CIO) on Jimmy Carter's failed reelection campaign, and subsequent efforts organizing his papers.
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