American humorist Erma Bombeck (1927-1996) kept politics out of her syndicated newspaper columns and best-selling books, but the famous suburban housewife was actually a fierce feminist. When appointed to President Carter’s National Advisory Committee for Women, she convinced the rest of the 40-person panel to focus on ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. She then embarked on a two-year speaking tour urging holdout states to come on board. Stumping for the controversial ERA won Bombeck new fans and lost her others, with some bookstore owners removing her books from their shelves, but she remained convinced she was on the right side of history.
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