Betty Friedan (1921–2006), a leading feminist, published the landmark book The Feminine Mystique in 1963. Friedan graduated from Smith College in 1942 and was married in 1947. After ten years as a mother and a housewife, Friedan found herself frustrated by the confinement of her situation and lack of options as a woman. She studied the lives and dissatisfaction of American women and published her findings in The Feminine Mystique. The book was an instant success. In 1966 Friedan cofounded the National Organization for Women, which would become the largest organization of the women’s movement, and served as NOW’s president until 1970. She also helped lead the ultimately unsuccessful campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment. Friedan later helped establish the Women’s Political Caucus and the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (now known as NARAL Pro-Choice America).

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