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  Friedan, Betty
NameBetty Friedan
Washington, District of Columbia , United States
Born February 04, 1921
DiedFebruary 04, 2006 (85 years)
Last ModifedJuan Croniqueur
May 24, 2023 12:56am
Tags Jewish - NOW -
InfoExcerpted from Wikipedia...
Education and family

Friedan was born Betty Naomi Goldstein in Peoria, Illinois. While young, she was active in Marxist and Jewish radical circles. She attended Smith College, where she edited a campus newspaper and graduated summa cum laude in 1942.

After graduation, she spent a year at the University of California, Berkeley, doing graduate work in psychology, but declined a scholarship for further study, and left Berkeley to work as a journalist for leftist and union publications.

She married Carl Friedan in 1947, a marriage that would last 20 years. Her son, Daniel Friedan, is a noted theoretical physicist.

Friedan died at her home in Washington, D.C. of congestive heart failure on February 4, 2006, her 85th birthday.


In 1952, she was fired from UE News when she was pregnant with her second child.

For her 15th college reunion, Friedan conducted a survey of Smith College graduates, which focused on their education, their subsequent experiences, and the satisfaction with their present lives. Her article on the survey, which lamented the lost potential of her classmates and present-day women college students, was submitted to women's magazines in 1958. It was rejected by all editors to whom it was submitted, even after Friedan rewrote portions at the request of some of the editors.

-- The Feminine Mystique

Friedan then decided to rework and expand the article into a book. The book was published in 1963, and was titled The Feminine Mystique. It depicted the roles of women in industrial societies, and in particular the full-time homemaker role, which Friedan saw as stifling. The book became a bestseller, was the impetus for the second wave of feminism, and spurred the women's movement to an incredible degree.

-- Other works

Friedan's other books included The Second Stage, It Changed My Life: Writings on the Women's Movement, and recently The Fountain of Age.

-- N.O.W.

Friedan co-founded the U.S. National Organization for Women with Pauli Murray, the first African-American female Episcopal priest, and was its first president, serving from 1966 to 1970. She also helped to create NARAL (originally National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws). She is counted as one of the most influential feminists of the late 20th century.

Friedan, was opposed to "equating feminism with lesbianism," and acknowledged later that she had been "very square" and was uncomfortable about homosexuality.


Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor
Feb 04, 2006 07:00pm Obituary Betty Friedan, Who Ignited Cause in 'Feminine Mystique,' Dies at 85  Article ScottĀ³ 

Importance? 10.00000 Average


US President - D Primaries - Jul 01, 2000 D Bill Bradley