She was the daughter of Congressman William Darrah "Pig Iron" Kelley, a self-made man who renounced his business activities to become an abolitionist, a founder of the Republican party and a judge, and worked for numerous political and social reforms, including the NAACP.
Read "Women in the Trade Unions, by Florence Kelley, free from Harvard University. Socialism, marriage and translations
Florence Kelley was an early supporter of women's suffrage. In Zurich, she met various European socialists, including Polish-Russian medical student Lazare Wischnewetzky, whom she married in 1884 (the couple divorced in 1891). She is well-known for her translation of Die Lage der arbeitenden Klasse in England, written in 1844 by Friedrich Engels, with whom she corresponded frequently. As The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844, it has been in print ever since. She appears there as 'Mrs. F. Kelley Wischnewetzky' and was also known as Florence Kelley Wischnewetzky.
Socialism and Civil Rights
A graduate of Cornell University, she was a member of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, an activist for woman suffrage and African-American civil rights. In 1909 Kelley helped create the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and thereafter became a friend and ally of W.E.B. DuBois. She also worked to help the child labor laws and the working conditions.