Ireland, Patricia

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Feminist activist, lawyer, and former president of the National Organization for Women, Patricia Ireland was born in Oak Park, Illinois, on October 19, 1945, the daughter of Joan Filipek and James Ireland. She received a BA from the University of Tennessee in 1966 and a JD from the University of Miami Law School in 1975. She worked as a flight attendant for Pan Am from 1967 to 1975, where she successfully challenged an employee health insurance plan that did not cover spouses of employees equally. Following her graduation from law school, she practiced corporate and commercial law at a Miami law firm while also taking on legal cases for women's rights and working for Dade County NOW as pro-bono legal counsel. In 1980, she was elected as a representative to the National NOW Board and in 1983 she became chair of Florida NOW's lesbian rights task force and a member of the internal structure review committee. In 1985, she managed Eleanor Smeal's successful campaign for the NOW presidency and chaired the national NOW by-laws committee. In spring 1987, Ireland was elected executive vice-president and national treasurer of NOW. In 1989, she developed NOW's Project Stand Up for Women, an initiative to defend women's access to abortion, and worked as the national coordinator. She continued this work after her election as president in December 1991.

Early in her presidency, Ireland led NOW in organizing the March for Women's Lives and initiated the Elect Women for Change campaign to bring a record number of women to political office. She also worked to forge links with other social justice and civil rights groups and was the prime architect of NOW's Global Feminist Program. Her tenure as president ended in 2001 but she continued to be involved with NOW in other capacities. Starting in April 2003 she worked briefly as the Chief Executive Officer of the Young Women's Christian Association and in 2005 she returned to Miami to practice labor law.

From the description of Papers of NOW officer Patricia Ireland, 1972-2005 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 701611519

Feminist activist, lawyer, and former president of the National Organization for Women, Patricia Ireland was born in Oak Park, Illinois, on October 19, 1945, the daughter of Joan Filipek and James Ireland. She received a BA from the University of Tennessee in 1966 and a JD from the University of Miami Law School in 1975. She worked as a flight attendant for Pan Am from 1967 to 1975, where she successfully challenged an employee health insurance plan that did not cover spouses of employees equally. Following her graduation from law school, she practiced corporate and commercial law at a Miami law firm while also taking on legal cases for women's rights and working for Dade County NOW as pro-bono legal counsel. In 1980, she was elected as a representative to the National NOW Board and in 1983 she became chair of Florida NOW's lesbian rights task force and a member of the internal structure review committee. In 1985, she managed Eleanor Smeal's successful campaign for the NOW presidency and chaired the National NOW by-laws committee. In spring 1987, Ireland was elected executive vice-president and national treasurer of NOW. In 1989, she developed NOW's Project Stand Up for Women, an initiative to defend women's access to abortion, and worked as the national coordinator. She continued this work after her election as president in December 1991.

Early in her presidency, Ireland led NOW in organizing the March for Women's Lives and initiated the Elect Women for Change campaign to bring a record number of women to political office. She also worked to forge links with other social justice and civil rights groups and was the prime architect of NOW's Global Feminist Program. Her tenure as president ended in 2001 but she continued to be involved with NOW in other capacities.

Starting in April 2003 she worked briefly as the Chief Executive Officer of the Young Women's Christian Association and in 2005 she returned to Miami to practice labor law.

From the guide to the Papers of NOW officer Patricia Ireland, 1972-2005, (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Records, (inclusive), (bulk), 1959-2002, 1966-1998 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Ireland, Patricia. Papers of NOW officer Patricia Ireland, 1972-2005 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Boston N.O.W. Additional records of Boston N.O.W. 1970-2002. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Records of, Sojourner, (inclusive), (bulk), 1920-2004, 1975-2002 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Mohler, R. Albert, 1959-. Southern Baptist Convention family resolution discussion [videorecording] / Albert Mohler, Jerry Falwell, Dee Dee Myers, Patricia Ireland, and Greta Van Susteren on Larry King Live. SBTS Library, James P. Boyce Centennial Library
creatorOf Papers of NOW officer Patricia Ireland, 1972-2005 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn National Organization for Women. Additional records of the National Organization for Women, 1970-2011. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn National Organization for Women. Records: Series I-XVI, 1961-1999 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Boston N.O.W. corporateBody
associatedWith National Organization for Women. corporateBody
associatedWith National Organization for Women. Dade County Chapter. corporateBody
associatedWith National Organization for Women. Florida Chapter. corporateBody
associatedWith Sojourner (Cambridge, Mass.) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
Sex discrimination against women--Law and legislation
Women's rights
Abortion
Feminists
Equal rights amendments
Feminism
Civil rights
Pro-choice movement
Demonstrations
Women lawyers
Women--Legal status, laws, etc
Women--Social conditions
Associations, institutions, etc
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1945-10-19

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