A COFOUNDER OF Ms. magazine and a motivating force in the National Organization for Women (NOW), Gloria Steinem has been one of the foremost voices of the feminist movement since the late 1960s. Steinem was born on March 25, 1934, in Toledo, Ohio, into a line of determined women, beginning with her paternal grandmother, who had been a suffragist.

When Steinem was 10 years old, her father Leo moved out of the house, leaving Gloria and her sister to care for their mother, Ruth Nuneviller Steinem, who became increasingly emotionally fragile. The experience of accepting a parental role at such a young age affected Steinem for the rest of her life. She believed that her mother's depression was dismissed as “nerves” rather than understood as ...

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