Betty Friedan (February 4, 1921 - February 4, 2006) was an American writer, activist and feminist.
A leading figure in the "Second Wave" of the U.S. Women's Movement, her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique is sometimes credited with sparking the "second wave" of feminism. Friedan co-founded National Organization for Women in 1966 which aimed to bring women "into the mainstream of American society now [in] fully equal partnership with men". She also wrote the book Our Wayward Sons.
In 1970, after stepping down as NOW's first president in 1969, Friedan organized the nation-wide Women's Strike for Equality on August 26, the 50th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution granting women the right to vote. The national strike was successful beyond expectations in broadening the feminist movement. The New York City march alone attracted over 50,000 women.
Friedan joined other leading feminists (including Gloria Steinem, Shirley Chisholm, Fannie Lou Hamer, Bella Abzug, and Myrlie Evers-Williams) in founding the National Women's Political Caucus in 1971. In 1977 she joined some of the movement's most visible and influential leaders, and 20,000 other women, at...