National Consumers League

Mary Gardiner Jones (1921-2010)


Last week, consumer advocates paid tribute to Mary Gardiner Jones, who served over many decades as a consummate consumer protection advocate and passed away at the age of 89. She was appointed as the first female commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission by President Johnson in 1964 and and served as president of the NCL Board of Directors in the 70s. NCL conferred on her the Florence Kelly award in 2003. NCL Board Secretary Sam Simon worked with her on the Alliance for Public Technology, and says that “her perspectives on technology were incredibly deep and accurate, way ahead of her time. She wrote and often said that no technology would work for people (we use the word ‘applications’ today) unless it made their daily life tasks better/simpler than other choices. I’m not sure ‘we’ get it even yet.  And on the other side of her, she was the type of person who made progress like a porcupine -- poking things that got in her way.” We owe a debt of gratitude for her pioneering leadership at the FTC and her distinguished career.