Willis, Ellen R.

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Born in New York City in 1941, journalist and feminist Ellen Willis was the daughter of a New York City police lieutenant. She graduated from Barnard College (B.A. 1962) and later did graduate work in comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Her first marriage to Harvey Leifert ended in divorce. In 1998 she married her longtime companion, sociology professor Stanley Aronowitz; they had a daughter, Nona Willis-Aronowitz. Willis was a founder of Redstockings, a radical feminist group begun in 1969, and, in the 1980s, of No More Nice Girls, a street theater and protest group that focused on abortion rights. A professor of journalism at New York University, Willis was known for her political essays which appeared in The Nation, Dissent, and elsewhere, as well as for her writings on rock music which were published in Rolling Stone, the New Yorker, and the Village Voice. Her books included Beginning to See the Light: Pieces of a Decade (1981), No More Nice Girls: Countercultural Essays (1992), and Don't Think, Smile! Notes on a Decade of Denial (1999). Willis died of lung cancer in 2006.

From the description of Papers of Ellen Willis, 1952-2001 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 543739416

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Black oral history collection, 1970-[ongoing]. John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library. Special Collections & Archives
referencedIn Brownmiller, Susan. Papers, 1935-2000 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Willis, Ellen. Papers of Ellen Willis, 1952-2001 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Aronowitz, Stanley. person
associatedWith Brownmiller, Susan. person
associatedWith Christgau, Robert. person
associatedWith Marcus, Greil. person
associatedWith Oppenheimer, Judy, 1942- person
associatedWith Podhoretz, Norman. person
associatedWith Sprinkle, Annie, 1954- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Women journalists
Women radicals


Active 1952

Active 2001


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