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Gloria Steinem

"Don't worry about your background, whether it's odd or ordinary, use it, build on it."
-Gloria Steinem

Gloria Marie Steinem was born in Toledo, Ohio, on March 25, 1934. She was tutored by her mother instead of having a formal education because her family was on the road a lot. In 1944, Gloria's parents divorced and Gloria moved back to Toledo with her mother. There, at only ten years old, she had to take care of her sick mother, cook, clean, attend school, and shop for food. At that time, Shirley Temple orphan movies were her favorite movies because Shirley always got a good pair of parents in the end.

During her senior year at high school, Gloria moved to Washington D.C. on an invitation from her sister. There, she got accepted to Smith College, which she attended in 1952. She majored in government, studied abroad in Switzerland, and wrote for Smith College's newspaper. She first became a feminist when she realized that her sick mother wasn't being treated as well as the male patients. It was feminism and women's rights that she spoke of when she traveled to India. When she returned to the United States, she couldn't get a job because she was female.

Finally, Gloria was hired by Help! magazine as an editorial assistant. During this period, she also became a contributor to Esquire and other magazines. In addition, she decided to go undercover as a Playboy bunny waitress to write an article on discrimination and sexual harassment of women. This article was published in June 1963, but it was not taken seriously.

Soon after, Gloria began writing for the TV show That Was the Week That Was. She also wrote a story on the presidential campaign of Senator George McGovern. It was this article that helped her land a job at New York magazine. There, she used the job to write on feminism, tracing the start of the movement to Sarah and Angelina Grimke and the start of the women's liberation movement to Betty Friedan.

Gloria participated in the New York City Women's Strike for Equality and teamed up with Dorothy Pitman Hughes. Together, they founded an organization to start women's education programs, the organization called the Women's Action Alliance. Also, in 1972, they published their own magazine on feminism called Ms. In 1972, McCall's magazine named Gloria "Woman of the Year."

Other miscellaneous things that Gloria did are: argued for legal abortion (which was given in Supreme Court case Roe vs. Wade in 1973), founded Ms. Foundation of Women, the Coalition of Labor Union Women and the National Women's Political Caucus, and published Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Marilyn: Norma Jean, Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem, and Moving Beyond Words in 1983, 1986, 1992, and 1994, respectively.

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