Betty Friedan was born Betty Naomi Goldstein on February 4, 1921 in Peoria, Illinois. The future feminist leader experienced anti-semitism growing up; this undoubtedly contributed to her political activism later in life. Graduating from Smith College in Massachusetts with a degree in psychology, she began her career as a reporter in New York City, and a few years later married Carl Friedan. The beginning of the women's movement in the United States can be traced to the publication of Friedan's first book, The Feminist Mystique, in 1963; it was instantly successful. Friedan wrote a follow-up to this book almost 20 years later, The Second Stage, in which she outlined issues that still needed addressing by feminists. She has also written a semi-autobiographical work, It Changed My Life, and a book about aging and society called The Fountain of Age. Friedan was a co-founder and the first president of the National Organization for Women. She has taught at New York University and the University of Southern California.
Author Anna Quindlen was born in Philadelphia on July 8, 1953. She graduated from Barnard in 1974. Quindlen worked as a reporter for the New York Post and the New York Times and wrote columns for the Times. She won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary before devoting herself to writing fiction. She has written both adult fiction (including Object Lessons, Black and Blue and One True Thing, which was made into a motion picture starring Meryl Streep) and children's fiction (Happily Ever After and The Tree That Came to Stay).