Phyllis Schlafly died on September 5, 2016 at the age of 92. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1924.
From a New York Times book review written in 2006 Judith Warner commented:
“In many ways, Phyllis Schlalfy, née Stewart, would seem an unlikely candidate for a life spent on the antifeminist front lines. She was raised in St. Louis by a working mother who kept her family afloat after her husband lost his job in the Great Depression. She was encouraged to excel academically by both her parents, who, Critchlow writes, believed “their daughters should not be any less ambitious or educated than boys.”
Schlafly received a four-year scholarship to a local Roman Catholic college, but left after a year because it wasn’t sufficiently challenging. Instead, she decided to pay her own way through Washington University by taking on a full-time job firing rifles and machine guns to test ammunition at the St. Louis Ordnance Plant. She worked night shifts — 4 p.m. to midnight or midnight to 8 a.m. — and then attended morning classes. She graduated early, made Phi Beta Kappa and called the ordeal “the most wonderful two years of my life, a beautiful experience.”
Schlafly got a master’s degree from Radcliffe, established herself professionally and achieved economic self-sufficiency, then married a St. Louis man with whom she bonded intellectually. (They took an extra suitcase of books along for the honeymoon.) Comfortably settled in a mansion in Fairmount, Ill., she had six children and rose to national prominence, first as an ardent anti-Communist, then as an antifeminist crusader.”