Gloria Steinem: Biography
Though we do not know what exactly shapes us in our lives, what we do know is that all things leading up to the present moment have molded us into our present day selves. This is exactly what happened with Gloria Steinem; a social activist, writer, editor, lecturer, and women’s rights leader, it was her past that made her the woman she became. Born on March 25th, 1934 in Toledo, Ohio into a family of a mentally ill mother, and a father who was constantly traveling for work, she spent most of her early years not only taking care of herself but her mother as well.
Gloria Steinem had a rather unusual upbringing, she spent part of the year in Michigan and the winters in Florida or California, with all of this traveling, and Steinem did not attend school regularly until she was 11 years old. Once her parents divorced she ended up caring for her mother for six years in a rundown home in Ohio before she graduated high school and would attend college. She attended Smith College where she would study government, the first sign of Steinem’s differences from the average woman during this time considering this was a very non-traditional choice of major for women. Most of her peers were following the social normality’s of the time: marriage and motherhood. Following college Steinem found herself pregnant with her Fiancés child but quickly decided that was not the path for her; she had an abortion and broke off her engagement.
Finishing her degree in 1956 Steinem received a fellowship to study in India. There she began her work as an Independent Research Service but shortly after established a career for herself as a freelance writer. One of her most famous pieces was in 1963; Steinem went undercover working as a waitress or “bunny” in New York City’s Playboy Club for an expose. It was in the late 1960’s that she helped create New York Magazine, and wrote a column on politics for the publication. Post New York Magazine Steinem became very...
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