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Coulson, Zoe



  • Existence: September 22, 1932 - May 11, 2018

Biographical Information

Zoe Elizabeth Coulson was a Purdue alumna who became a successful leader in the United States food industry, working as the first female vice president of Campbell Soup Company, first female member of the Board of Directors for Rubbermaid Inc., and authoring two best-selling cookbooks.

Coulson was born to Allan and Mary Thompson Coulson on September 22, 1938. Coulson graduated from Purdue University in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics and Education. After graduation, she worked in public relations and by 1967, became the first Food Editor for Good Housekeeping where she wrote two best-selling cookbooks. She became the Director in 1975 and managed 100 staff members across eight departments. Campbell Soup Company recruited Coulson in 1981 to create five new corporate marketing departments and was appointed their first female vice president. In 1982, she became the first female member of Rubbermaid Inc.'s Board of Directors.

Zoe Coulson spoke across the United States on topics relating to food science, testified before Congressional committees on labels and packaging, and consulted about marketing in the United States. She was named Old Master and Distinguished Alumni by Purdue University and was honored by Grocery Manufacturers of America for her work with consumers.

She retired in 1991 but continued consulting in the field. Zoe Elizabeth Coulson passed away in West Lafayette, Indiana on May 11, 2018.


Zoe Elizabeth Coulson obituary (2018, May 11). Holmes Memorial Chapel. Retrieved from:


Purdue University Board of Trustees (1954, May 29). [Minutes]. Board of Trustees minutes, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections (pg. 32). Retrieved from:

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Zoe Coulson papers

 Unprocessed — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 20131105.2

Zoe Coulson papers, addition 01

 Unprocessed — Box: 2
Identifier: 20131231.4