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Kansas City Missouri Women's Heritage Trail
Item 25 of 26
This is a contributing entry for Kansas City Missouri Women's Heritage Trail and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

Dr. Linda Hood Talbott was a philanthropic leader and advocate for women in Kansas City whose impact extended around the globe through her leadership in establishing the Women's Foundation of Greater Kansas City and the Women's Employment Network. In 1975, she established Talbott & Associates, a philanthropic management organization that assists nonprofit organizations, foundations, and corporations. She received prestigious awards for her philanthropic service, forever preserving her contributions to society. As her life of service proves, Dr. Linda Hood Talbott is an excellent role model for aspiring philanthropists and women's advocates.

Dr. Linda Hood Talbott (right) with Martha Jane Starr (left)

Picture frame, Smile, Fun, Event

Dr. Linda Hood Talbott was born in 1940 to Henry H. Hood and Helen Hamrick Hood. Dr. Talbott credited her mother as her primary influence for her success, drawing inspiration from her example as she balanced her work as an interior designer with other pursuits, including a career as a pianist that was cut short owing to arthritis. Talbott excelled as a student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, earning her Bachelor of Arts in 1962, her Master of Arts in 1964, and finally, her Doctorate in Higher Education Administration in 1973. Her passion for higher education would be a common theme throughout her life, and she supported scholarships and other endeavors at UMKC for decades to come. 

After receiving her doctorate, Dr. Talbott was offered an opportunity to remain at UMKC. Under the leadership of Chancellor James Olson, Dr. Talbott served as the director of development, in which she helped establish a partnership of funding for the UMKC Performing Arts Center. Dr. Talbott had a passion for promoting education, especially among women and girls, as well as promoting additional philanthropic endeavors. She established Talbott & Associates in 1975 and served as its president and CEO for decades. Talbott & Associates is an organization that provides philanthropic management to nonprofit organizations, foundations, and corporations, otherwise assisting them with planning their philanthropic aspirations. This was just the tip of the iceberg for Dr. Talbott, however, marking the early years of a highly successful career. 

Dr. Talbott served as a founding member of multiple organizations along with other influential women in the area, helping to establish the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City, the Central Exchange, and the Women’s Employment Network. Dr. Talbott and her husband, Thomas Talbott, were committed to providing scholarships for outstanding UMKC students to aid in their pursuit of education. One such scholarship, which is still provided each academic year, is the Talbott Honors Program Scholarship, which offers recipients at least $1,000 to use towards their education expenses. Along with promoting education and women’s programs, Dr. Talbott had many opportunities to pursue philanthropic endeavors. She served as president of both The Clearinghouse for Midcontinent Foundations and The Center for Philanthropic Leadership. She used such roles, as well as her other pursuits, to provide excellent leadership in philanthropic work, especially for the elderly, women, and youth in communities. 

Dr. Talbott made an impact in more communities than just Kansas City, serving as a lecturer in various U.S. cities as well as cities around the world. Her lectures included a focus on philanthropy in the U.S., higher education in the U.S., and business relationships in higher education. She also participated in multiple conferences, including a presentation with Dr. Elizabeth Noble and Dr. Lisa G. Klein entitled, “Women in the Heart of America: Concerns, Needs, & Priority Issues for the 1990s.” This presentation was given at the 1992 Women’s Issues Conference in the People’s Republic of China. With such a worldly influence, it comes as no surprise that Dr. Talbott served as Delegation Leader for the U.S. Delegation of Business and Professional Women to China. Along with philanthropy, Dr. Talbott was a successful businesswoman, earning a spot on the Kansas City Power & Light Board of Directors. Even though this occurred in the 1980s, she was the first Kansas City woman on the board of a Fortune 1000 company.  

Dr. Talbott received recognition for her leadership work from three U.S. presidents: President Carter, President Reagan, and President Clinton. On top of presidential recognition, she also received many awards throughout her life. In 1990, Dr. Talbott was the UMKC Alumna of the year, and the International Hall of Fame in Cambridge, England, inducted Dr. Talbott in 2011. In 2015 she supported her alma mater, by allotting $1 million of her estate to the UMKC Honors College. After a lifetime of philanthropic work and support for higher education and women’s development, Dr. Linda Hood Talbott passed away on December 24, 2020. Her spirit lives on through the organizations she helped to establish and the scholarships that bear her name.

  1. A Celebration of Women 1994. Kansas City, MO. The Women's Foundation of Great Kansas City, 1994. Located in MS-331, Box 2, Folder 1, Linda Hood Talbott Collection, LaBudde Special Collections, University of Missouri-Kansas City Libraries, Kansas City, MO. Upon special request.
  2. Changing the Landscape of Giving, UMKC Today. March 18th 2019. Accessed November 7th 2021.
  3. Dr. Linda Hood Talbott Obituary, Legacy. February 14th 2021. Accessed November 7th 2021.
  4. Hall of Fame: Dr. Linda Hood Talbott, Starr Women's Hall of Fame. Accessed November 7th 2021.
  5. Hood Talbott, Linda. Greater Kansas City Grantmaking: Foundation Highlights, 1975-1992. Kansas City, MO. The Clearinghouse for Midcontinental Foundations, 1993. Located in MS-331, Box 1, Folder 1, Linda Hood Talbott Collection, LaBudde Special Collections, University of Missouri-Kansas City Libraries, Kansas City, MO. Upon special request.
  6. MS-331, Boxes 1 and 2, Linda Hood Talbott Collection, LaBudde Special Collections, University of Missouri-Kansas City Libraries, Kansas City, MO. Upon special request.
  7. O'Dell, Patricia. Talbott Provides Experience, Funding and Mentoring, UMKC Foundation. April 11th 2019. Accessed November 7th 2021.
  8. Scholarships, UMKC Honors Program. Accessed November 7th 2021.
  9. Women Energy Directors Network: Attendee Biographies. Seattle, WA. Morgan Stanley, 2012. Located in MS-331, Box 1, Folder 30, Linda Hood Talbott Collection, LaBudde Special Collections, University of Missouri-Kansas City Libraries, Kansas City, MO. Upon special request.
Image Sources(Click to expand)

LaBudde Special Collections, UMKC University Libraries, Martha Jane Starr Collection