April 20, 2014

Who Said That?

Florida's quote of the day

| 12/23/2013

"She broke her glass ceiling when women didn't know there was a glass ceiling."

-- Geneva Mueller, speaking of her mother, Toni Fudge

Toni Fudge was a single mother in 1942, slogging through workdays managing a Baltimore shoe store.

The 22-year-old from rural North Carolina saw an ad for dance instructors. Soon she was interviewing for a position at Arthur Murray Dance Studios, the inspiration of a Hungarian immigrant whose franchises were expanding across the country.

Mrs. Fudge asked the interviewer whether male instructors earned more than the 80-cents-an-hour wage he was offering her.

Men and women were paid equally, she was told. With that, Mrs. Fudge signed on. She would become Murray's protege, staying involved with the studios for 45 years. During that time she owned six studios in Florida and became the first woman to sit on Arthur Murray's board of directors.

Mrs. Fudge, who led a successful business in changing times that left a mark on St. Petersburg, died Dec. 11 after a struggle with Alzheimer's disease. She was 93.

Read more at the Tampa Bay Times.

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