Amy Gordon Hamilton was born in New Jersey to a family of Scottish ancestry. At Bryn Mawr College, she received a classical education, studying Greek and English. She became a well-known teacher and writer with clear ideas and strong beliefs about the direction and quality of social work education, and is still known as the "mother of modern social casework." She was associate director of Social Services and later, adviser on research at Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. She served as a professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work from 1923 to 1957 and retired as associate dean. In addition, she was an international social welfare advisor through her work with the Church World Services and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration from 1944 until 1952. She was a research consultant at the Jewish Board of Guardians from 1947 to 1950. Prof. Gordon Hamilton was the author of the groundbreaking and influential "Theory and Practice of Social Casework," published in 1940. This book and its later editions remained basic texts in social work education for many years. She was the first editor of the National Association of Social Workers journal, "Social Work."