Mary Lou Baker, Kathleen “Scotty” Robertson Culp, and Katherine Fernandez Rundle will be the next inductees for the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame, Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday.
Baker, who lived 1915 to 1965 and was formerly of Pinellas County, was a lawyer and the second woman elected to the Florida House of Representatives, serving 1942-45.
She wrote the “Women’s Emancipation Bill” to provide women “the right to conduct business while their husbands served in World War II,” a press release said. She also argued for co-education, “helping pave the way for the 1947 decision to admit women to the University of Florida and create a co-ed Florida State University.”
Culp, who lived 1921 to 2013 and was formerly of Satellite Beach, was one of the first women to enlist in the U.S. Navy after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, according to the release.
“Culp made military history when she was approved to parachute jump along with her male counterparts and became the first woman in the armed forces to make a premeditated free-fall parachute jump in 1944,” it said.
At the age of 75, Culp helped carry the Olympic Torch down A1A in Satellite Beach and was named Brevard County Woman of the Year in 2009.
Fernandez Rundle, 57, of Miami-Dade County, was elected the first female Hispanic State Attorney in the State of Florida in 1993 and continues to serve in the role.
In 1997, she was the first and only Hispanic member appointed to the 1997-98 Florida Constitution Revision Commission by Gov. Lawton Chiles. Fernandez Rundle is a “dedicated advocate in the fight against human trafficking and serves her community in several organizations.”
Scott chose the three from a group of ten nominees selected by the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. ‘They were considered for their work to make significant improvements in life for women and all citizens of Florida,” the release said.