Smeal, Eleanor

Smeal, Eleanor (Marie Cutri)

(1939–  ) social activist; born in Astabula, Ohio. The child of Italian immigrants, she grew up in Pennsylvania and attended Duke University, from which she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1961. She married Charles Smeal in 1963. They settled in Pittsburgh where she worked in civic affairs, particularly the League of Women Voters. In 1970 she and her husband joined the National Organization for Women (NOW). By 1973 she was elected to the national board of directors (1973), became board chair in 1975, and then served as president of NOW (1977–82). After leaving NOW because she found it too conservative, she helped found the Women's Political Caucus and the Feminist Majority Foundation.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.