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Remembering Mary Thom

by Melissa Silverstein
April 29, 2013 11:06 AM
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Mary Thom

The feminist movement suffered a huge loss this weekend with the death of Mary Thom.  Mary Thom was a long time editor at Ms. Magazine where she arrived in 1972, and rose through the ranks to be its executive editor.  She literally wrote the book on Ms. Magazine's history with Inside Ms.: 25 Years of the Magazine and the Feminist Movement.

I met Mary about six or seven years ago when we started to work together at the Women's Media Center.  She edited me everyday.  She was also the person who encouraged me and edited the longer pieces that I wrote for the Women's Media Center when I was just starting to think about how to frame the issues on my blog.  She made me understand how important an editor was.  Many bloggers don't have editors and we all suffer for it.  When Mary edited anything I wrote, it was so much better.  She was able to take my words and thoughts and make them sound professional.

When I wrote the introduction for my book In Her Voice: Women Directors Talk Directing the only person I wanted to edit it was Mary Thom.  She gave of herself freely and quickly and was an enormous help.  I still remember when I got the email back from her telling me that she thought it worked.  It was a huge relief because I knew that if Mary said it flowed, it flowed.  

I was very much looking forward to seeing Mary in a couple of weeks at an event to celebrate the publication of In Her Voice.  When I sent her the invitation she was one of the first to respond and sent me an email about how happy and proud she was that I got the book done.

She was a true and wonderful collaborator and I will miss her greatly.

Mary Thom, a Chronicler of the Feminist Movement, Dies at 68 (NY Times)

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  • Michelle Tolson | May 3, 2013 11:24 AMReply

    Very nice tribute and sorry for the loss of your friend. I really appreciated how she edited my work as well and honored the voices of the women I interviewed who were not western mainstream feminists, but feminists just the same. It's a talent to nurture the stories you edit. I also felt supported in my work. Sad....

  • Anne Mollegen Smith | April 29, 2013 10:11 PMReply

    Nice thoughts about Mary Thom. Speaking of editing: Perhaps you'll want to fix two typo's in the third paragraph )where it says Marty for Mary, and thinked for thought). No need to publish this note.

  • Ann Baldwin | April 29, 2013 4:54 PMReply

    My condolences to you, Mary's family, friends, & colleagues. Your remembrance of Mary is heart-felt, thoughtful, & full of gratitude.

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