Antonina “Ann” Uccello (who celebrated her 95th birthday this past May) was the first female mayor in Connecticut and the first female mayor of a U.S. state capital. Born in 1922, Uccello was the second of five daughters of Italian immigrants. She attended the University of Saint Joseph and, years later, accomplished what seemed then as a nearly impossible task: she beat Hartford, Connecticut’s well-established democrat to become elected republican mayor. She would alsobe re-elected two years later. She was the first woman mayor in the history of the city of Hartford, the first in the state of Connecticut, and the first female mayor in the United States of any capital city.
In 1971, Uccello moved to Washington, D.C., where she was appointed as the first Director of the Office of consumer Affairs in the U.S. Department of Transportation. She would go on to serve under President Nixon, President Ford, and President Carter. In 1999, she was inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, and streets were dedicated to her and named after her in both Hartford and in her family’s native town of Canicattini Bagni, in Italy, just last year. Uccello celebrated her 95th birthday this year.