A native of Toledo, Linda Furney attended Sylvania High School, and earned a Bachelors in Science from Bowling Green State University in 1969. She began her career as an English teacher at Whitmer High School in Toledo until 1972, when taught at American School in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for two years. When she returned to the United States in 1975, she entered the Holiday Inn management program. Two years later, she resumed her teaching career in Springfield Local Schools as a Vocational Home Economics teacher.
Furney's political career began in 1979 when she was elected President of Ohio National Organization for Women. She was also elected to the Toledo Board of Education in 1982 and to Toledo City Council in 1983. She began her first term as Ohio Senator in 1986, winning re-election for four consecutive terms.
As Ohio Senator, Furney has been ardent in expressing her family and community orientated concerns for the quality of life of Toledoans in the Senate. She has focused her work on environment, education, labor, and women and children's health issues, introducing ten bills in her first term, including Senate Bill 110 which requires educational materials and textbooks for school districts and nonpublic schools to be free of sex bias and sex-role stereotypes, Senate Bill 224 which extends the protection of Ohio's law against age discrimination to people over 70 years of age, and Senate Bill 314, which restricts importation of out of state hazardous waste.
Senator Furney's civic interests can also be seen in the Senate and special committees which she has served on, and the organizations with which she is affiliated. She is the ranking minority member of Education, Retirement and Aging Senate Committee, and serves on the Senate Finance Committee, Reference and Oversight Committee, and Rules Committee. She has also served on the Legislative Committee for Education Oversight, Education Goals and Strategies Commission, Governor's Task Force on Head Start, and National Conference of State Legislators. She is the project director of Ohio's Investing in People Project, a School-To-Work effort, which promotes the coordination of all School To Work Programs statewide and provides vocational education experience for Toledo's students to effectively compete in the workplace. She is also the facilitator for Ohio Women and Children's Budget Coalition, is active in Ohio Democratic Party, ACLU, AAUW and is a life member of NAACP and NOW.
As a result of Senator Furney's activism and involvement in the community, she has earned the Foundation Award from the ACLU of Ohio, the Citizen Award from the Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children, the Stanley K. Levinson Award from Planned Parenthood of Northwest Ohio, and Special Recognition from the Lucas County Board of MR/DD.
The Honorable Linda Furney was the Executive in Residence at the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women during the Spring Semester of 2005.