Patti Morton’s Clutch Purse

United States c. 1972

For nearly fifty years, Diplomatic Security Service Special Agents were men. That changed in 1972 when Patricia “Patti” Morton became the first woman to serve as a Diplomatic Security Service Special Agent. This clutch purse is a testament to the many challenges that Special Agent Morton faced as a trailblazer. At the time, Diplomatic Security did not issue gun holsters that could be worn practically by a woman. Morton found her own solution by using this clutch to carry her .357 magnum service weapon during protective detail assignments. Patti Morton advocated for women to do any job without restriction. Throughout her career, she strived to make it easier for the women who would follow her. She became an inspiration to many, fighting for the fair and unbiased treatment of women in the diplomatic workforce.

  • Source/Credit: Gift of Patti Morton
  • Catalog Number: 2019.0002.01
  • Created: c. 1972
  • Acquired: 2019

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MLA Format

Patti Morton's Clutch Purse. c. 1972. National Museum of American Diplomacy,

Chicago Format

Patti Morton's Clutch Purse, c. 1972, National Museum of American Diplomacy, Washington, DC,

APA Format

(c. 1972). Patti Morton's Clutch Purse [Object]. National Museum of American Diplomacy, Washington, D.C., United States.

Learn More About Patti Morton

Patti Morton shaking hands with Ambassador Cohen

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Patti Morton: The First Female Diplomatic Security Special Agent

The first female Diplomatic Security agent, Patti Morton was very aware of the legacy she would leave for women.
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