Margaret Ives Abbott (June 15, 1876 – June 10, 1955) was the first American woman to take first place in an Olympic event; she won the women’s golf tournament, consisting of nine holes, with a score of 47 at the 1900 Paris games. Abbott won a porcelain bowl for first place in golf. (The 1900 games were the only Olympics in which winners received valuable artifacts instead of medals.) 1900 was the first year in which women were allowed to compete in the Olympics,and these games included 11 female athletes competing in “ladylike” sports: golf, tennis and yachting.
These games were apparently so poorly organized that many competitors, including Abbott, did not realize that the events they entered were part of the Olympics. Historical research did not establish that the game was on the Olympic program until after her death, so she herself never knew it. Abbott, who was living in Chicago, had traveled to Paris to study art under Edgar Degas and Auguste Rodin. Her mother, Mary Perkins Ives Abbott (a novelist and Chicago Tribune book reviewer), traveling with her, also competed in the event, finishing tied for seventh place, making it the first (and still only) Olympic event in which a mother and daughter competed at the same time.
Born in Calcutta, India in 1876, in 1902, Abbott married writer Finley Peter Dunne.