Oral History Project of the VWAA

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Betty Jo Anthony

The first woman prosecutor to be hired in the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office in the city of Roanoke, and chief assistant Commonwealth’s attorney there for more than 30 years, Betty Jo Anthony is a well known, well respected, and larger than life figure among the defense bar and the public in Roanoke, having handled thousands of high profile criminal cases throughout her career. Born at the old Jefferson Hospital in Roanoke, Anthony grew up in the more rural Mount Pleasant area. She received her undergraduate degree from Westhampton at the University of Richmond in 1969, and pursued a teaching career before returning to the University of Richmond for law school at the urging of her husband, Joseph Anthony, where she received her JD in 1979. She was admitted to the bar in 1979. Anthony is a past state president and board member of the VWAA. Throughout her career, she has quietly mentored other women attorneys through example, encouragement and advice, both women in the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office and in the general bar. Anthony and her husband, a well respected attorney in Roanoke in his own right, reared two children while devoting their careers to the betterment of the people of the Roanoke Valley.

Additional Details

Interview Date: May 17, 2023

Video Transcript