Johnie Wright Hammond


Johnie Wright Hammond

"She is a justice advocate's advocate of the highest caliber." - Rev. Carlos C. Jayne, 2005


Guided by an unshakeable belief in justice and dignity for all, in the power of public education, and the democratic process to effect change, Johnie Wright Hammond has been an Iowa leader in ways that are far reaching and enduring. She has been a tireless advocate for those sometimes forgotten: children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, women, and low income families and individuals. She was the first woman elected to the Story County Board of Supervisors, and the first woman elected to represent Ames in the House of Representatives (12 years) and the Senate (8 years). While in the Iowa General Assembly, she played a key role in the women’s caucus and helped enact landmark legislation that has improved women’s lives: comparable worth, inheritance laws, minimum wage, health care for children, and the criminalization of marital rape. She authored legislation for gender balance on state boards and the Equal Rights Amendment to the Iowa Constitution. As a staunch defender of civil rights and an innovator for reform of the justice system in Iowa, she served on boards of directors for the League of Women Voters, Iowa Civil Liberties Union, Legal Services of Story County, Center for Creative Justice, and the Iowa Board of Corrections. She has a reputation for remarkable wit and humor even when addressing serious issues. Hammond was born August 22, 1932 in Eupora, Mississippi. She is an active American Baptist, and is deeply committed to her family including her husband Earl, their four children and eleven grandchildren. Hammond was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 2005.