Mary Thom, a founder and editor of Ms. magazine, an author several times over, and one of the most articulate feminist voices in the latter half of the 20th century, was killed Friday when she crashed her motorcycle on a highway in Yonkers, New York. She was 68.
Though the Westchester County police said it was waiting until Sunday to release the details of Thom’s motorcycle accident, her nephew, Thom Loubet, gave an account of Thom’s death to the Women’s Media Center, which in turn passed it along to CNN. Women’s Media Center co-founders Robin Morgan, Gloria Steinem, and Jane Fonda also issued a joint statement in the wake of Thom’s death:
Mary was and will always be our moral compass and steady heart. Wherever her friends and colleagues gather, we will always ask the guiding question: What would Mary do?
A lot of stuff, actually — Mary Thom was not one for sitting idly by while the patriarchy went about its merry way of disenfranchising women. She served as an editor at Ms. for 20 years, before leaving in 1992 to become the editor-in-chief of the features section of the Women’s Media Center, where she worked to raise women’s visibility in the media. Among the many books she authored or edited, CNN mentions two in particular: a history of Ms. called (just in case you wondered just how sharp Mary Thom’s wit was) Inside Ms. and a history of Bella Abzug pithily titled 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 Writers, Rallied Against War and for the Planet, and Shook Up Politics Along the Way.
Image via AP, Women's Media Center