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Madeline McWhinney Dale, a long time resident of Middletown, Little Silver and Manhattan passed away on June 19th. She was a trailblazer for women in the banking industry. Madeline was the first female Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank, the President of The First Women’s Bank and held numerous other leadership roles across a variety of fields during her long career.  

Madeline was born in Denver, CO in 1922 and is the oldest of seven children. After attending Graland Country Day School in Denver, founded by her father Leroy McWhinney, she went on to boarding school at Sandia School in Albuquerque, NM. She then came East to attend Smith College to pursue her ambition of entering the banking industry. She had wanted to follow in the footsteps of her father, an attorney and banker in Denver, who she lost tragically to a car accident when she was only 17. After graduating in 1943 Magna Cum Laude with an Economics degree, she went on to earn an MBA at NYU in 1947. She remained committed to NYU after graduating, completing additional coursework toward a PhD, serving as a visiting lecturer, member of the Advisory Board and President of the Alumni Association. She received the Meritorious Alumni Award in 1962 and was named “Man of the Year” in 1971. At NYU, she met her husband, John D. Dale, a management consultant and concert cellist, while he was completing his PhD. They married in 1961 and had one son. She is survived by her son Tom of Darien CT, his wife Lisa and her four grandchildren, Thomas Jr, William, Henry and Elizabeth, as well as her stepson, John Dale Jr and wife Clara of Middletown and Manhattan.

After a 30-year career at the Fed distinguished by countless broken barriers and firsts for a woman, Madeline was recruited in 1974 to be the President of the First Women’s Bank, the first full-service commercial bank in the US predominantly owned and operated by women. Termed the “bank with a heart” by Family Circle magazine, it was founded primarily to counteract the effects of years of sexism on the financial community.

Having earned broad respect within the financial community, Madeline went on to serve as a board member of the Carnegie Corporation, a Trustee and Chairman of the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, a Life Trustee and Treasurer of the Institute for International Education, a Governor of the American Stock Exchange, a Director of the Central Savings Bank of NY, an advisory board member of the Banking Law Review and a Trustee of Affiliated Managers Group. As Vice President of Phi Beta Kappa Associates, she spearheaded the establishment of a national network connecting college campuses and successful people in business and the professions.

As versatile as she was expert in finance, Madeline was chosen to serve on the first New Jersey Casino Control Commission in 1980 when the state was planning to redevelop Atlantic City around casino gambling. After facing off with numerous reputed organized crime figures seeking licenses in front of the commission, she went on to join the board of Atlantic Energy Corporation where she served for ten years. These experiences led her to join the Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics of the New Jersey Supreme Court. As if the challenges within banking, casinos, utilities and the judicial system hadn’t stretched her enough, she applied her talents to the art world in 1983 by joining the Whitney Museum of American Art as its Chief Financial Officer.

Madeline’s long life and career were distinguished by her dedication to education, her vision to effect change she believed in, her quiet determination in the face of daunting challenges and her humility. She cared deeply for the principles of equality and democratic ideals. While she was a vocal pioneer in championing equal opportunity for women and minorities in business, she led by example and believed in reward only in return for performance.

Having spent her childhood in the Rocky Mountains skiing and climbing most of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks, Madeline had a life-long passion for the preservation of the environment. In her later years residing in Little Silver she remained very active in her community, serving as a Director of a number of charitable and cultural organizations, including Planned Parenthood, the Visiting Nurse Association, Monmouth Museum and the Monmouth Conservatory of Music. She was an active member of the Rumson Country Club for over fifty years.

All services are private and under the direction of Thompson Memorial Home of Red Bank, NJ.




Bruce S. Thompson, Owner & Manager, NJ LIC #3740