Shipton, Janet Helen 1923


(1923- ), psychologist

Janet Helen Shipton (née Attlee) was born in 1923 to parents Clement Richard Attlee (1883-1967) and Violet Helen Millar (1895-1964). Her father Clement, a Labour politician, served as British Prime Minister between 1945 and 1951. Janet was educated in Stanmore, London, before being evacuated to Tintagel, Cornwall during the Second World War. Later in the war, she served as a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF).

After the war, Shipton worked as a psychologist in Bristol. There, she met electrical engineer Harold ‘Shippy’ Shipton (1920-2007), who was working at the nearby Burden Neurological Institute, an independent research unit specialising in the investigation and treatment of neurological, psychological, and psychiatric disorders. The couple married on 20 November 1947 in a wedding considered ‘the society event of the year’, with a reception at Chequers and most of the post-war Labour Cabinet in attendance.

Janet and Harold immigrated to the United States in 1958, where Harold had been offered a research associate position at the University of Iowa. While living in Iowa City, Janet became increasingly involved in community politics, playing a key role in the organisation of the Hoover Health Council and serving as Johnson County Supervisor in 1978. Shipton also served in leadership roles in the Iowa and Missouri League of Women Voters, the Missouri Women’s Network, and the Missouri Older Women’s League, focusing on issues of women’s health and voter registration. She lives in Ogden, Utah.