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About Evelyn

Walter Cronkite says it best

Evelyn Echols ranks right up there with the most interesting people I've ever known. By the time you've read this book, I expect that you will agree with me.

She has it all, and has done it exceptionally well. She was a farm girl beauty who sought her fame as a model in New York and reached life's summit as the founder of a travel school that rescued hundreds of girls from the cities ghettos.

Along the way, she founded a travel agency. Her timing was almost as exquisite as the lady herself. Like a surfer catching the perfect wave, she rode the travel boom as the jet airliner brought once remote places within reach of all. Thanks to her combination of charm and energy, her agency was a great success and she became the intimate of a roster of famous clients. She was one of the few who lasted in the company of the temperamental Joan Crawford. Evelyn was a friend of Helen Hayes and Eleanor Roosevelt and...but let her tell you about the secrets of her associations with them.

And, most important of all, she married a good friend of mine from the University of Texas- Dave Echols, a brilliant advertising man. Theirs was a storybook romance that lasted until Dave left us not so long ago. Their love affair did not just survive their separate careers. They seemed to blossom even more handsomely as, supported by the other, they reached their own heights of success. In their way, Evelyn and Dave pioneered the late Twentieth Century American family that proved that a talented, intelligent, sensitive woman could make a career as well as a home. Evelyn hadn't planned to that kind of model, but she made it so.

The proof of her success was that, when Rotary International finally chose to let down the barriers and admit women to their organization, Evelyn Echols of Chicago was the first woman invited to join their ranks.

Her book is a wonderful tale of a wonderful life.

Walter Cronkite


  • 1968: Honored by President Ronald Reagan as one of the Nation’s Top Women
  • Appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the President’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Business Ownership
  • Business Owner of 1985 – Awarded by the National Association of Women Business Owners in Chicago
  • Entrepreneur of the Year – Awarded by the New York Women Business Owners
  • Inducted into the Chicago Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame at the University of Illinois

© 2010 Evelyn Echols