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People Top 5
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- June 30, 1975
- Vol. 3
- No. 25
Marie Farrell (right) finds it hard to believe. "Here I am, a young black woman with no political influence or important friends, in one of the most powerful jobs in the city." The city is Detroit, her hometown; the job, auditor general. In that capacity Farrell, 27, watchdogs an $800 million-plus municipal budget—a far cry from her work as a supermarket cashier, which paid her way through Wayne State University as a math major. "I looked around me and all the women were bookkeepers, the men accountants. The difference? The men were making a lot more money."
After apprenticing in a private firm, Farrell, in 1972, became the first black female certified as a public accountant in the state of Michigan. She was elected by the city council to her present $37,000-a-year post over six male candidates in April. Divorced and the mother of a 3-year-old daughter, she is no party-line feminist. "I was so busy doing the things I wanted to do—liberating myself—that I didn't realize the movement was going on."
December 20, 2014
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