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WMC Announces A Celebration of the Life of Mary Thom

May 1, 2013

NEW YORK — The Women’s Media Center today announced a memorial service and award honoring well-known feminist, editor and author Mary Thom, who died last week in a motorcycle accident.

Photo: Joan Tedeschi

The celebration, which is open to the public, will be held Monday, May 6 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse Samuel B. and David Rose Building. Guests are encouraged to RSVP to by Sunday at 5 p.m. ET. Directions to the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse Samuel B. and David Rose Building can be downloaded here.

In lieu of flowers, Thom Loubet and Susan Loubet, Mary’s nephew and sister, have requested that donations be made to the Women’s Media Center, Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) and Bryn Mawr College. Mary Thom was a former editor at Ms. magazine, editor in chief of Women’s Media Center Features, a member of JAWS, and the recipient of a history degree from Bryn Mawr in Pennsylvania.

The Women’s Media Center Mary Thom Art of Editing Award will honor the art of editing in all forms of media, and will invite nominations from all media; the first such award will be given at the October 8 Women’s Media Center’s 2013 Awards Gala in New York City. Further details will be announced later.

“The Women’s Media Center, while grieving Mary’s sudden, tragic death, is proud to establish this award in her memory,” said WMC co-founders Robin Morgan, Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda.

“A first-rate editor practices a craft demanding great skill, one that doesn’t impose external meaning or agendas on a work but elicits the content and the creator’s voice all the more clearly.  Mary Thom did this and more,” Morgan, Steinem and Fonda said in announcing the awards. “For Ms, and in recent years for The Women’s Media Center Features, she conceived stories, managed to find just the right author to assign, developed the story, nagged politely until it was delivered, and then edited it, fact-checked it, had the editing approved by the author (a rarity), and fought for the piece’s proper placement.”

Morgan, Steinem and Fonda noted that though there are some industry-specific and genre-focused editing awards, overall media editing — of books, magazines, newspapers, television and radio (news and entertainment), blogs and other online copy—goes ignored.

Mary Thom, 68,was an author, editor, and journalist. 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.

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. She joined the organization in 2006.

While she spent her childhood in Akron, Ohio, Thom lived 48 years on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Susan Thom. In addition to her nephew and sister, she is survived by niece-in-law Mariko Silver, and grandniece 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.