Joan Finney was the first female to serve as Governor of Kansas. Finney was born in 1925 in Topeka to Leonard and Mary Sands McInroy. She earned a bachelor's degree in from Washburn University, Topeka.
She began her long political career as a staff member in the Topeka and Washington, D.C. offices of U.S. Senator Frank Carlson. She served in this position from 1953-1969.
Her next position was as commissioner of elections for Shawnee County which she held from 1970-1972, then as administrative assistant to the Topeka mayor, 1973-1974.
She was elected to serve as Kansas State Treasurer from 1972-1986. Finney became the first female to hold that position and the longest-serving Kansas state treasurer. Finney served as Governor of Kansas from 1991-1995.
Joan Finney died in 2001.
Governor biographies courtesy of the Kansas Historical Society.