Rose Mofford

Areas of Achievement: 

Honored By

Honored by: Bolding, Betsy
Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: Leaf Tile, Large
Honored by: Gaspar, Rebecca
Date submitted: May 09, 2007

Any success that I've had comes from my roots, my religion, and my Rolodex.' (2004 Arizona Heritage Award)

Rose was born in Globe, Arizona, on June 10, 1922 as the youngest of six children. Both of her parents were Austrian immigrants, who valued the idea that they would be able to vote in the United States. She had a strict upbringing that shaped her to be the strong and exceptional woman that she would later become. Early in her life, Rose exhibited uniqueness that set her apart from her peers. She earned the highest GPA of any other student at Globe High School, and grew to love athletics. She enjoyed tennis, basketball, and was considered to be the best softball player at her school. It was during her high school years that Rose would also gain a fascination for politics and government. Rose's interest in politics led her to secretarial work for the State Treasurer after high school. This position also led Rose to another important factor of her life. It was through this job that she met T.R. Mofford, the founder of the Phoenix Police Department, and Rose's future husband.

Religion is one of the most important contributors to her success. Rose considered herself to be a highly religious woman and identified herself as a devoted Catholic. She claimed that religion played an important part of her life, and contributed money to the Missionaries of Charity, a charity dedicated to a special home that was organized by nuns in order to help the poor. This charity was founded by Mother Teresa, and Rose took it upon herself to donate the first $5,000. Her faith and generosity were both characteristics that would gain her much popularity among Arizona residents.

She dedicated a lot of her time to the government of Arizona. In 1977, Rose was appointed as Secretary of State by the Governor of that time, Wesley Bolin. This position set the foundation for her political legacy that would follow. Not only was she a woman in a position that was considered to be male-dominated, but she proclaimed to be a Democrat in a Republican state, Arizona. Nevertheless, this did not stop her from going on to her most well-known position as Governor.

After Governor Mecham was impeached in 1987, Rose was then expected to take the position because she was the Secretary of State. Rose accepted the position, and made history when becoming the first female governor of Arizona. One of her greatest achievements while governor was passing the law that Martin Luther King Day would become a state holiday. She served until 1991, and stepped down from her position after serving three years. It was during her time as governor that the United States was facing some real hardships. There were many budget cuts, rising student costs, and gas prices were at an all time high. She has been credited with "bringing stability to the state of Arizona in this difficult time," and was known for bringing great order and organization to the government of Arizona.

Rose is now enjoying her retirement, and dedicates a lot of her time to charities and giving speeches. She loves to play golf, and enjoy life. She co-sponsors a golf charity called 'The Governors Cup' that she shares with former Governor Jane Hull, and the current Governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano. Rose commented, 'Now that's history, no other state has ever had three women governors.'