(1934 – )
Gloria Steinem…her name alone…is so well known, her life has touched so many women, a true pioneer, editor of one of the most famous women’s magazines, a political activist, a lecturer and a feminist organizer. Can’t remember having ever used that terminology, “Feminist Organizer” before… sounds like a good description, doesn’t it?
Her famous statement, “If the shoe doesn’t fit, must we change the foot?” runs like a thread through her life as an activist and “change agent.” Gloria Steinem has dedicated her life to fashioning a world that fits the needs of its people.
A frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality, particularly in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, and gender roles. She has investigated child abuse as roots of violence, as well as non-violent conflict resolution. Further she has studied the cultures of indigenous peoples and has organized across boundaries for peace and justice.
In 1968, she co-founded New York Magazine, where she was a political columnist, yet continued to be a freelance writer and was subsequently published in Esquire, several other leading women’s magazines, and numerous publications in many other countries.
In 1972, she co-founded Ms. Magazine and remained its editor for 15 years. She continues to serve as a consulting editor and was instrumental in the magazine’s move to join with the Feminist Majority Foundation. She produced a documentary on child abuse for HBO, a feature film about the death penalty for Lifetime.
Also in 1972, she was co-convener of the National Women’s Political Caucus and is the founding member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women. Her books, “Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions,” (1983) and “Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem,” (1992) are all best sellers.
Ms. Steinem helped to found the Women’s Action Alliance, a pioneering national information center specializing in nonsexist, multi-racial children’s education, and the National Women’s Political Caucus, a group that continues to work to advance the numbers of pro-equality women in elected and appointed office at national and state levels. In 2004, she co-founded the Women’s Media Center; and was president and co-founder of Voters for Choice, a pro-choice political action committee. She is the founding president of Ms. Foundation for Women, a national multi-racial, multi-issue fund that supports grassroots projects to empower women and girls; and a founder of Take Our Daughters to Work Day, a first national day devoted to girls that has now become an institution here and in other countries.
Currently, Gloria is working with the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College on documenting the grassroots origins of the U.S. Women’s Movement, and on a Center for Organizers in tribute to Wilma Mankiller, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. In links to other countries, she has been a principal in founding Equality Now, Donor Direction Action and Direct Impact Africa.
STEINEM WRITER AWARDS include:
- Penney-Missouri Journalism Award
- the Front Page and Clarion Awards
- National Magazine Awards
- an Emmy Citation for excellence in TV writing
- Women’s Sports Journalism Award
- Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists
- University of Missouri School of Journalism Award for Distinguished Service in Journalism
- and the 2015 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award
In 1993, her concern for child abuse led her to co-produce and narrate an Emmy Award winning TV documentary for HBO,
“Multiple Personalities: The Search for Deadly Memories”. Gloria has a long long list of other awards earned over a lifetime of public service. She has been the subject of 3 TV documentaries; and is among the subjects of the 2013 PBS documentary MAKERS, a continuing project to record the women who made America!! (Hurrah for this project!!) Carolyn Heilbrun has written Gloria’s biography, “The Education of a Woman.”
Her books are all best sellers. “Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions” (1983) and “Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem,” (1992). Her writings form a lasting legacy of ideas and personal revelation that continues to inspire us and keep us informed.
Resources: “Office of Gloria Steinem, Brooklyn, NY”