Esther E. Peterson,91, a pioneering advocate of worker and...

Deaths Elsewhere

December 21, 1997

Esther E. Peterson,91, a pioneering advocate of worker and consumer rights in three presidential administrations, died yesterday at her Washington home.

She was a pioneer in pressing the food and grocery industries to include unit pricing, more complete lists of ingredients and freshness dating, a son, Iver Peterson, said. A native of Provo, Utah, she was an official of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union and the AFL-CIO before being named director of the Women's Bureau and assistant secretary for labor standards at the Labor Department by President Kennedy in 1961.

As the consumer movement grew in America under the influence of Ralph Nader and other activists, President Lyndon B. Johnson named her the first White House consumer adviser in 1964, a post she held through 1967.

She later was legislative director of the clothing workers union and consumer adviser to Giant Food Inc. in the Baltimore-Washington area before returning to the White House in the Carter administration as special assistant to the president for consumer affairs.

She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian, award for public service, in 1981.

Pub Date: 12/21/97

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