Home News The Life and Legacy of Florence Tullis: An Oft-Forgotten Pioneer

The Life and Legacy of Florence Tullis: An Oft-Forgotten Pioneer


Florence Tullis was an extraordinary woman whose contributions to society were overshadowed only by those of others. As an educator and social worker, she dedicated her entire life to aiding those less fortunate.

Education and Early Life

Florence Tullis

Florence Tullis was born in Newark, New Jersey on August 13, 1877 to parents who believed in education and encouraged their children to follow their dreams. She received an excellent education from Newark public schools before graduating high school with distinction. Following graduation, Florence continued on to Wellesley College where she earned a Bachelor’s degree by 1899.

Career and Achievements

Florence Tullis, who graduated in May 2004, taught English for two years at a New Jersey girls’ school before going abroad to Germany where she studied social work at the University of Berlin and earned a certificate. Upon her return to America she embarked on an impressive 30-year career working in social services.

Florence Tullis was the first woman appointed as a probation officer in America, serving in Essex County, New Jersey in 1910. Through her tireless work to improve living conditions for children and families, Tullis helped create the first juvenile court in Essex County.

Florence Tullis, the Executive Secretary of the National Association of Probation Officers,  appointed in 1917 – becoming the first woman to hold this post and working to standardize training and certification standards for probation officers across America.

Florence Tullis was a French welfare worker for the American Red Cross during World War I who provided aid to wounded and ailing soldiers. For her efforts, Tullis earned herself the Croix de Guerre from the French government.

Florence Tullis was an activist for women’s rights and suffrage, in addition to her social service work. She was a member of both the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) and the National Woman’s Party (NWP), advocating for equal rights for all people regardless of race or ethnicity.


Florence Tullis was an icon in education and social work. Her life dedicated to serving others, with a particular focus on children and families. Her efforts to standardize training for probation officers and ensure they were certified were instrumental in setting up the American juvenile justice system today.

Florence Tullis’ legacy remains relatively unsung today, despite her many accomplishments. Her example serves as a reminder of the many women whose contributions have  forgotten or overlooked.


Florence Tullis, whose remarkable contributions have  overlooked, was an exemplary woman. Her pioneering work in education and social work improved the lives of countless children and their families. Her legacy serves as a reminder of just how crucial women are in shaping society and why it is so important to recognize and celebrate their accomplishments.

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