I, Gloria Steinem, was born on March 25, 1934 in Toledo, Ohio. My father was Leo Steinem. He was a childlike man who was a fountain of inventions, ad slogans and product ideas. He was always sure one of them would make him rich. He died in 1962 still believing that. It was sad because he was a great man. My mother, Ruth Nuneviller Steinem was a teacher, and journalist. When she was thirty years old she gave up her career to help my father run the summer resort they owned in Michigan. After my father died it was very stressful and depressing for her because my mother suffered through many nervous break-downs and died in 1980.
Much of my early years were spent in a house trailer, traveling the country as my father searched for his fortune. When I was twelve years old my parents got divorced. Then I moved back to Toledo with my mother and we lived in a rat infested apartment. There my mother got her first nervous break-down. She was unable to take care of herself. I had to play the role of the parent at home. It was very stressful and tiring for me. I felt depressed and heart broken when my parents divorced. During my senior year of high school I went to live with my sister in Washington D.C., while my father took care of my mother. In 1952 I enrolled in Smith College and majored in government. After I graduated, I went to India to study at the University of India and wrote a guide book for the Indian government. India was an exciting experience and I learned a lot form the government.
In 1958 I returned to the United States. Two years later I landed a job writing photo captions for a political magazine. In 1963 I went undercover to work as a waitress in a Playboy bunny club in New York City. After this experience I wrote an article called, “I Was a Playboy Bunny”, which caused my journalism career to take off. I published articles on various social causes in Cosmopolitan, McCall’s, Glamour, and Vogue. I also wrote for television. In the...
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