I, Gloria Steinem, was born on March 25, 1934 in Toledo, Ohio. My father was Leo Steinem. He was a childlike man who was a fountain of inventions, ad slogans and product ideas. He was always sure one of them would make him rich. He died in 1962 still believing that. It was sad because he was a great man. My mother, Ruth Nuneviller Steinem was a teacher, and journalist. When she was thirty years old she gave up her career to help my father run the summer resort they owned in Michigan.
After my father died it was very stressful and depressing for her because my mother suffered through many nervous break-downs and died in 1980. Much of my early years were spent in a house trailer, traveling the country as my father searched for his fortune. When I was twelve years old my parents got divorced. Then I moved back to Toledo with my mother and we lived in a rat infested apartment. There my mother got her first nervous break-down. She was unable to take care of herself. I had to play the role of the parent at home.
It was very stressful and tiring for me. I felt depressed and heart broken when my parents divorced. During my senior year of high school I went to live with my sister in Washington D. C. , while my father took care of my mother. In 1952 I enrolled in Smith College and majored in government. After I graduated, I went to India to study at the University of India and wrote a guide book for the Indian government. India was an exciting experience and I learned a lot form the government. In 1958 I returned to the United States.
Two years later I landed a job writing photo captions for a political magazine. In 1963 I went undercover to work as a waitress in a Playboy bunny club in New York City. After this experience I wrote an article called, “I Was a Playboy Bunny”, which caused my journalism career to take off. I published articles on various social causes in Cosmopolitan, McCall’s, Glamour, and Vogue. I also wrote for television. In the process I became something of a celebrity. In 1971 I joined other prominent feminists, such as Bella Abzug and Betty Friedan.
We worked together in forming the National Women's Political Caucus, which worked on behalf of women's issues. When I took the lead in launching the pioneering, feminist Ms. Magazine I was filled with joy. I always made sure my topics tackled important topics, including domestic violence. It is important to me that my readers are satisfied so I must always write to fulfill and answer my readers. I was amazed to have my magazine become the first national publication to feature domestic violence on my cover in 1976.
I’m not afraid of press and I publish what my readers want and need to know. I have a vast collection of wrtings. As my fame began to rise, I face criticism from other feminists, including the Redstockings. I was upset at first but I pushed my haters aside. Everyone will have their haters but forget them. I thought about my fans and my supporters. They are the ones who matter to me. 1986 was a very hard year for me. I found out I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was very worried. Luckily I was able to beat the disease with treatment.
When my life was almost at stake, I valued my life more. I learned how important it is to always do your best to keep your body healthy. In the year 2000 I married David Bale. He was as an environmental and animal rights activist. He had a son, Christian Bale. I loved David reverently. Unfortunately, he died of brain cancer 3 years later in 2003. I was devastated. He had the greatest heart of anyone I’ve ever known. Today I still work as for social justice. I don’t plan on retiring anytime soon. I feel that the idea of retiring is as foreign to me as the idea of hunting.