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The Women’s Media Center Mourns the Loss of Mary Thom, Author, Feminist, Editor

April 27, 2013

NEW YORK — Journalism and the feminist movement suffered a huge loss with the passing of Mary Thom, co-founders of The Women’s Media Center said in a statement issued today.

“We who are Mary's friends and family haven't absorbed her loss yet; it's too sudden,” said Robin Morgan, Gloria Steinem, and Jane Fonda, co-founders of The Women’s Media Center. “Ms. Magazine, the Women's Media Center, the women's movement and American journalism have suffered an enormous blow. Mary was and will always be our moral compass and steady heart. Writers from around the world have been able to share their words and ideas because of her. Wherever her friends and colleagues gather, we will always ask the guiding question: What would Mary do?"

Mary Thom, who was an author, editor, and journalist who edited the Women’s Media Center Features, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Yonkers Friday. An early and long-time editor of Ms. magazine, she wrote and consulted for a number of non-profit women’s organizations, including the National Council for Research on Women. Her books include Inside Ms.: 25 Years of the Magazine and the Feminist Movement and Letters to Ms.: 1972-1987. She is editor, with Suzanne Braun Levine, of an oral history, Bella Abzug: How One Tough Broad from the Bronx Fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, Pissed Off Jimmy Carter, Battled for the Rights of Women and Workers, Rallied Against War and for the Planet, and Shook Up Politics Along the Way). She also was editor of a book by Rosalie Maggio, Unspinning the Spin. How to Say What You Mean and De-Code the Hype. The book will be released later this fall.

“We are shaken and reeling at the sudden passing of our irreplaceable editor-in-chief, Mary Thom,” said Julie Burton, president of The Women’s Media Center. “Mary was one of the great writers, editors, and visionaries of the women's movement, and the heart and soul of Women's Media Center's features writing. From her work in the early days of Ms. Magazine right up until this week, hers was a clear, strong voice for equality—and her editorial talents lifted so many other voices as well." Burton said as editor-in-chief at The Women’s Media Center, Thom edited three features a week of original writing by women journalists on important issues that provide progressive women’s perspectives on both headlines and timely events ignored or misrepresented in the mainstream media.

“In Mary Thom’s accidental death, Ms., the Women's Media Center and U.S. journalism suffer a huge loss,” Morgan said. “And I grieve for a wry, ethical friend."

Mary’s family also issued a statement: "We are so very sad to lose our Mary.  She was the source of our joy and our edits.  She charged through life with a generous and compassionate strength and wisdom, and that is how we will forever remember her.  While she spent her childhood in Akron, Ohio, she lived 48 years on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Susan Thom. She is survived by her sister Susan Thom Loubet, her nephew Thom Loubet and niece-in-law Mariko Silver, and adored grand-niece Kumi Silver Loubet."

The Women’s Media Center works to make women and girls visible and powerful in the media through strategic programs that transform the media landscape, and that include media training, media monitoring and activism, media reports, media programs, and special initiatives.  The Women’s Media Center also produces original media content on our CBS radio show, Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan, and publishes Women’s Media Center Features that provide progressive women’s perspectives on both headline stories and timely events. The organization was founded in 2005 by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem.

For more information, contact Cristal Williams Chancellor, media relations manager, or 202-587-1636.