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Infidels, Freethinkers, Humanists, and Unbelievers
Steinem, Gloria (1934 - )
"By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God."

Gloria Steinem


Gloria Steinem is an American feminist, journalist and a spokeswoman for women's rights. She is the founder and original publisher of Ms.

Early life
Gloria Marie Steinem was born in Toledo, Ohio. Her Jewish-American father, Leo Steinem, was an antiques salesman, and her mother, Ruth, was of part German descent. With his family in tow, Leo Steinem traveled in a trailer all around the United States, buying and selling. The family split in 1944, and he left to go to California so that he could find work and Gloria went to live with her mother in Toledo. As a child in Toledo, she cared for her ill mother and helped to support the family.

Education and early career
In 1952 Steinem entered Smith College as a scholarship winner. She majored in government studies and became politically active, working for Adlai Stevenson's campaign. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa Society, the oldest honour society in the United States, 1956. She graduated in 1956 and left to study in India for two years. When she returned to the U.S., she was unable to find a job as a journalist because editors wanted male reporters. After two years she landed a job as an assistant editor of Help! and also freelanced for other magazines. In 1963 she became a full-time freelance writer through the publication of her infamous undercover article, "A Bunny's Tale: Show's 'First Exposé for Intelligent People.'"

Political awakening and activism
After a series of celebrity interviews, Steinem was eventually able to get a political assignment covering George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign. This led to a position in a New York magazine. She also became politically active in the feminist movement. The media seemed to appoint Gloria as a feminist leader. In this role, Steinem brought other notable feminists to the foreground. During this time she toured the country with lawyer Florynce Rae ("Flo") Kennedy. In 1971 Steinem was one of the founders of the National Women's Political Caucus, and founded the Women's Action Alliance. In 1972 she founded the feminist magazine Ms. and wrote for the magazine until it was sold in 1987. The magazine was bought by the Feminist Majority Foundation in 2001, which continues to publish the magazine today. Steinem remains on the Masthead as one of six founding editors, and is also on the advisory board.

She controversially decided to exclude male students from some of her lectures on feminism, a decision met with some student criticism.

In 1974 Steinem founded the Coalition of Labor Union Women. In 1977 she participated in the National Conference of Women in Houston, Texas.

In 1991 when Ms. magazine revived, she became its consulting editor. In 1993 she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

Legacy
In the 1980s and 1990s, Steinem had to deal with health and personal setbacks. In 1986 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In 1994, she contracted trigeminal neuralgia.

She became a newlywed at an age when most people start retirement — on September 3, 2000 she married David Bale, father of actor Christian Bale. However, they were married for only three years before he died of brain lymphoma on December 30, 2003 at age 62.

In 2005, Steinem appeared in the documentary film, I Had an Abortion, by Jennifer Baumgardner and Gillian Aldrich. In the film, Steinem described the abortion that she had as a young adult in London, where she lived briefly before studying in India.

She is a member of Democratic Socialists of America, and an Advisory Board member of Women's Voices. Women Vote.

Canadian singer/songwriter David Usher penned a song entitled Love With Save The Day, that included sound bytes from Steinem speeches. The opening of song contains "It really is a a revolution" and near the end, the song breaks for her to speak "We are talking about a society in which there will be no roles other than those chosen or those earned, we are really talking about humanism."

 
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