Jennifer Disney, Ph.D
Elsie Forth Shealy was born on August 16, 1925 and grew up on a farm in Lexington. She was a high school honor graduate and voted “best-all-around." She majored in math and French at Columbia College, graduating magna cum laude. She taught math for five years and then joined World Book-Childcraft, becoming the first female Senior Vice President and General Sales Manager. In this role, Mrs. Shealy supervised over 10,000 managers and representatives in 13 states. She was named North America Manager of the Year.
Mrs. Shealy, known for her “sense of humor, outstanding speaking skills, and quick wit," was a featured speaker at civic, church, and business events on the local, state, and international level. She served as president and active volunteer for the Lake Murray Community Club and as a visiting professor for Winthrop University and Columbia College. She and her husband, State Senator Ryan Shealy, raised five children.
In Mrs. Shealy's philosophy of parenting, she states that "children need roots for security and wings for the freedom to develop initiative and creativity. They need to learn to accept responsibility and to make decisions. This lesson comes with the feeling of security that only home and family can give."
Oral History | United States History | Women's History
Shealy, Elsie Porth, "Interview with Elsie Porth Shealy" (2015). South Carolina Mother of the Year Oral History Archives. 24.