Feminist Pioneer, Leader for Women's Rights and Equality
Gloria Steinem is one of the most influential political activists and feminists in modern American history. A writer, editor and lecturer, Steinem is known worldwide as a powerful voice on issues of equality. In addition to co-founding Ms. magazine, she helped found New York magazine and has contributed pieces to Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, and numerous women's magazines and foreign publications.
In 1969, Steinem’s article, "After Black Power, Women's Liberation," catapulted her to national fame as a feminist leader. In 1972, she co-founded Ms. magazine and remained one of its editors for fifteen years. She continues to serve as a consulting editor for Ms., and was instrumental in the magazine's move to join and be published by the Feminist Majority Foundation. She helped found New York magazine in 1968, where she was a political columnist and wrote feature articles. In addition to her work as a writer, Steinem has produced a documentary on child abuse for HBO, a feature film about the death penalty for Lifetime, and been the subject of profiles on Lifetime and Showtime.
Her books include the bestsellers Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Moving Beyond Words, and Marilyn: Norma Jean, on the life of Marilyn Monroe. Her writing also appears in many anthologies and textbooks, and she was an editor of Houghton Mifflin's The Reader's Companion to U.S. Women's History.
She travels the globe as an organizer and lecturer with a particular interest in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles and child abuse as roots of violence, non-violent conflict resolution, the cultures of indigenous peoples, and organizing across boundaries for peace and justice.
Steinem graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Smith College in 1956, and then spent two years in India on a Chester Bowles Fellowship. She wrote for Indian publications, and was influenced by Gandhian activism. She also received the first Doctorate of Human Justice awarded by Simmons College, the Bill of Rights Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, the National Gay Rights Advocates Award, the Liberty award of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Ceres Medal from the United Nations, and a number of honorary degrees. Parenting magazine selected her for its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995 for her work in promoting girls' self-esteem, and Biography magazine listed her as one of the 25 most influential women in America. In 1993, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York. She has been the subject of two biographical television documentaries, and The Education of a Woman, a biography written by Carolyn Heilbrun.
Currently residing in New York City, Steinem is at work on Road to the Heart: America As if Everyone Mattered, a book about her more than thirty years on the road as a feminist organizer. She continues to write for various publications and, in 2004, she co-founded the Women's Media Center.
Steinem has participated in one prior CT Forum: The Wisdom of Sages in 1998.