A pioneer and champion for women on the bench, Frances Carr was born in El Centro, California, October 27, 1923. One of four children of itinerant farm workers, she worked her way through college (University of California, Berkeley (AB, 1945), and Boalt Hall (JD, 1948) in a variety of jobs including nightclub photographer and laborer building Liberty ships in Kaiser shipyards. She also spent a year (1944) as a radio announcer in Missoula, Montana. Admitted to the California Bar on January 11, 1949, Carr practiced law in Antioch, California, before moving to Sacramento in 1950. In December 1975, she became the first woman to be appointed to the bench of the Superior Court, Sacramento County, where she also served as presiding judge from 1978 to 1979. In 1980, she was appointed to the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District. Justice Carr died suddenly, at home, January 16, 1992, six weeks before she was to have retired.