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Physician and birth control advocate Winonah "Winnie" Leah Monroney Sanger, middle child of Dr. Sylvester Lewis and Elizabeth Buckles Monroney, was born on February 2, 1874, in Jefferson, Illinois. After graduating from Carmi, Illinois, public schools in 1890, she taught there from 1891 to 1894. During the next three years she taught math and science in an Oklahoma City high school. She received a bachelor's degree from Scarritt College in Neosho, Missouri, in 1898 and the M.D. degree from Washburn College in Topeka, Kansas, in 1904. She began her medical career in Oklahoma City that year and later served the Oklahoma City Public Schools as medical inspector (1918-23) and as women's medical advisor for Oklahoma University Health Service (1923-27). An advocate for family planning and birth control, she shared a practice with her husband, Dr. Fenton Mercer Sanger, and son, Dr. Fenton Almer Sanger. During the late 1920s Winnie Sanger contributed articles relating to women's health issues to The Oklahoma Woman magazine.

Sanger, a Methodist and a Democrat, was president of the Oklahoma State Federation of Women's Clubs, Oklahoma Medical Women's Auxiliary, National League of American Pen Women (Oklahoma City branch), and Oklahoma Writers' Club. She was active in the Oklahoma State Medical Society (elected life member), Order of the Eastern Star, Chi Omega Epsilon, and Daughters of the American Revolution. She was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1935, and the Sanger House at the University of Oklahoma was named for her in 1949. Sanger died February 9, 1957.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Durward Howes, ed., American Women: The Official Who's Who Among the Women of the Nation, Vol. 2, 1937-38 (Los Angeles: American Publications, Inc., 1937). Lerona Rosamond Morris, Oklahoma: Land of Opportunity (Guthrie, Okla.: Cooperative Publishing Co., 1934). Notable Women of the Southwest: A Pictorial Biographical Encyclopedia of the Leading Women of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arizona (Dallas: William L. Tardy, 1938). Joseph B. Thoburn and Muriel H. Wright, Oklahoma: A History of the State and Its People, Vol. 3 (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1929). Who Was Who in America, Vol. 5, 1969-73 (Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, Inc., 1973).

Kelly Brown

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