Trailblazing lawyer Louise Raggio, the first female District Attorney in Dallas, Texas, who would also become that office’s first woman to prosecute a criminal case, died Sunday at the age of 91.
Raggio’s greatest legacy was her role in passing the landmark Texas Marital Property Act of 1967. In a documentary released in the 1960s, Raggio noted that Texas was one of the worst states in the nation in terms of women’s property rights.
Raggio said: “Basically when a man and woman married, they said the husband and wife were one, and he was the one, because all her property rights when she married were not hers anymore. If she owned an apartment house free and clear when she married, the rents belonged to her husband, and if she had bank account he could tell her bank not to let her withdraw any of her funds.”
Outraged at the blatant discrimination of the law, she championed the groundbreaking statue in 1967. Many women were inspired by Raggio’s dedication in fighting for women’s legal rights and followed in her footsteps.