Patricia “Patti” Morton (1935–2019) — the first woman to serve as a special agent for Diplomatic Security Services — established a legacy as a trailblazer at the U.S. Department of State through her extraordinary career that spanned from 1965 to 1999. Beyond her decades of devoted service to our nation and the Department, Patti’s passion for the beauty and mission of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms resulted in an outpouring of support that has forever impacted the DRRs.
Patti gave generously to the endowment and acquisition of several collection objects, including Winter Farmstead (George Henry Durrie, 1856) and a 1935 portrait by Samuel Johnson Woolf of Ruth Bryan Owen, the first woman appointed as a United States ambassador.
In 2011, Patti made a remarkable contribution to the Patrons of Diplomacy initiative by endowing the Thomas Jefferson State Reception Room in perpetuity. In a grand gesture, she dedicated the room to the many hardworking individuals whose careers and daily acts advance diplomacy worldwide — just as Patti’s did.
Pioneer, public servant, philanthropist, and friend, Patti Morton truly demonstrated the impact one person can make, and her legacy continues to be celebrated each day in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms.
- Patti Morton, the first woman to be a DS special agent, posed in 2011 with her gift to the Diplomatic Reception Rooms of a portrait of Ruth Bryan Owen, the first woman appointed as a U.S. ambassador.
- Portrait Bust of Ruth Bryan Owen by Samuel Johnson Woolf, 1935. Funds donated by Patricia Anne Morton.
- Winter Farmstead by George Henry Durrie, 1856. Funds donated by Patricia Anne Morton in memory of her family.