Today, we visit the grave of a notable Cincinnatian. Marge Schott may be the most famous woman born in Cincinnati, in fact. She is definitely one of it’s most notorious, and a truly complex, enigma. Born to a lumber baron in 1928, Marge married Charles Schott, the wealthy son of a prominent family. When he passed away suddenly at 48 years of age, Marge inherited his car dealership and other businesses.
During a time unheard of for women, Marge elected to run them herself and even fired the entire front office staff of her brick factory. She later bought a stake in the Cincinnati Reds, which she went on to increase, making her the first woman to buy and subsequently manage a MLB team outright! Marge was a true paradox. She was a generous philanthropist who helped children and animals in need and supported countless arts organizations across Cincinnati. She was also cheap and stingy to her employees and her team.
Worst of all, Marge was unabashedly and unapologetically racist, bigoted and even, sexist. She was a woman who made it in a man’s world, but did not want girl bat “boys” or women working for her. She remains a divisive figure in Cincinnati even in death. As a result of her attitudes, she was forced to sell her dealerships and her beloved, Cincinnati Reds. Consequently, her name has recently been removed from numerous institutions she helped during her lifetime.
Commonwealth Journal columnist, Jeff Neal wrote this:
“While Marge did a lot of good for Cincinnati, she also caused it great shame. Her views on race should not — cannot — be celebrated anymore.”
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