Felda Looper

Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - Felda Looper became the first female page in 1973 working for Democratic Whip Carl Albert (OK). Hear how she blazed the trail for young women to work on the Hill and what it was like working in Washington.

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Felda Looper was born on January 9, 1955, in Kansas City, Missouri, to Omer (Joe) Looper, an osteopathic physician, and Maxine Moody Looper. 

On a family trip to Washington, D.C., in 1966, which included a visit to the Capitol, Looper questioned her Representative, Democratic Whip Carl Albert (OK), about the longstanding tradition of only hiring young men as congressional Pages. 

Not satisfied with Albert’s response to investigate the matter, Looper wrote numerous letters to his office reminding him of her interest in serving as a Page and of the inherent gender discrimination in barring young women from holding the position. 

Shortly before graduating from Heavener High School in Heavener, Oklahoma, in 1973, Looper’s determination paid off when she received an offer to serve as a Page from Albert, who by then had risen to serve as Speaker of the House.
Appointed on May 14, 1973, Looper began her Page tenure a week later on May 21, 1973. Her historic appointment received widespread media coverage.

During Looper’s first day on the job she answered questions from reporters, posed for pictures, met her fellow Pages, and toured the Capitol. As a Page, she performed the same tasks as her male counterparts, primarily running errands for the Members of Congress. 

Although employed for a brief period, Looper had the opportunity to witness historic debates, speeches, and hearings during the summer of 1973, which focused on women’s rights and the Watergate scandal.

At the conclusion of her Page service, Looper attended the University of Oklahoma. She graduated in 1977 with a degree in political science. Two years later, she earned an M.A. in Special Studies (Industrial Psychology-Motivation and Achievement) from George Washington University. 

She later lived in Paris, France, where she worked for the International Counseling Service. Looper went on to open her own retail business in Washington, D.C., before working as a Web site developer, marketing director, and consultant. 

Currently a resident of Washington, D.C., Looper is employed as an independent consultant.

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