Letty Cottin Pogrebin
(1939 - )
By Seymour "Sy" Brody
Letty Cottin Pogrebin is one of America's outstanding feminist journalists. She was the founding editor of Ms. magazine, author of the column "Working Woman" and author of a number of books relating, to women in business and non-sexist child rearing.
She was born on June 9, 1939, to Cyral and Jacob Cottin. Her father was a successful attorney and her mother was a known designer. Letty graduated CUM LAUDE from Brandeis University with a B.A. Degree in English and American Literature.
In 1960, she went to work for a book publisher, Bernard Geis Associates, and she soon became the director of publicity, advertising and subsidiary rights for the next ten years. In 1970, her talents were recognized and she was made a vice president of the company. It was the same year that her book, "How to Make it in a Man's World" was published. It was a practical and humorous guide on how a woman can succeed in the male-dominated world of business. Some of the humor can be seen in the chapter titles: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Typing, Executive Sweets and If You Can't Stand the Heat, Get Back to the Kitchen. Pogrebin helped found the pioneering magazine for women Ms. in 1971. She became the editor and she continued to write her column, The Working Woman, for The Ladies Home Journal. She also wrote articles for other magazines on women and employment, feminism, the psychology and sociology of child rearing, women in politics and the role of the women in the family.
In her book, In Getting Yours: How to Make the System Work for the Working Woman(1975), she writes about how women can get the greatest benefits from union membership, the need for child caring centers for working women, maternity rights, Equal Rights Amendment, sexism in religion and society and many other issues relating to feminism.
In 1980, her book, In Growing Up Free: Raising Your Child in the 80s, her main thrust is non-sexist child rearing. She stresses the importance of questioning everything that we do with, to, for and around children.
Pogrebin was one of the founders of the National Women's Political Caucus in 1971. She and the other founders realized the need for political action and clout to achieve legislation gains for women in society.
She worked with actress Marlo Thomas on Free to be You and Me, a record, book and television package of non-sexist songs and stories. She is also on the board of directors of Action for Children's television, which monitors children's television programs. I
She has been fighting anti-Semitism all of her life. She was outspoken when she encountered it in the feminist movement. In her article in Ms. magazine, in June, 1982, she states that Jewish women have two battles to fight: Against sexism and against anti-Jewish beliefs. She wrote that women as Jews within the feminist movement with as much zeal as we identify as feminists in Judaism.
Letty Cottin Pogrebin continues to struggle for the rights of women in society. Her outspoken writings and lecturing on feminism and women's rights display a leadership and courage that will help women achieve their equal place in America.
This is one of the 150 illustrated true stories of American heroism included in Jewish Heroes & Heroines of America : 150 True Stories of American Jewish Heroism, © 1996, written by Seymour "Sy" Brody of Delray Beach, Florida, illustrated by Art Seiden of Woodmere, New York, and published by Lifetime Books, Inc., Hollywood, FL.
Source: Jewish Heroes and Heroines in America.