Gisela Kahn Gresser was born on the 8th of February 1906 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Awarded the WIM title in 1950 she was Women's World Championship Challenger in 1949-50 and also won the US Women's Championship nine times. Gisela Kahn Gresser (February 8, 1906 - December 4, 2000) was one of the first two female chess players in the United States to gain the title of master in 1950 when FIDE created official titles. She was also the first woman to be inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame. She won the U.S. Women's Chess Championship in 1944, 1948 (with Mona May Karff), 1954, 1955 (with Nancy Roos), 1957 (with Sonja Graf), 1962, 1965, 1966 (with Lisa Lane), 1967, and 1969 (at age 63). Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1906, Gresser first learned to play chess at the late age of 30. In 1938, she was in attendance at the first U.S. Women's Chess Championship tournament, organized by Caroline Marshall and held at the Rockefeller Center in New York City (won by Adele Rivero). In 1940, she was one of the participants, and in 1944, she won it. Ms.Gresser was a housewife, married in 1927 to William Gresser, an attorney and musicologist. She had attended Radcliffe, followed by the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece on a fellowship. Besides her astounding success in the U.S. Women's Chess Championship, Gresser also played in five Women's Candidates' tournaments (for the Women's World Chess Championship - she was the challenger for the 1949-50 title) and three Women's Chess Olympiads. She won the 1954 U.S. Women's Open Championship.
The Gisela Kahn Gresser Collection is available for use by researchers in the John G. White Special Collections Department on the 3rd Floor of the Main Building.