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Prominent feminist Mary Thom dies in motorcycle crash

From AnneClaire Stapleton, CNN
updated 11:49 AM EDT, Sun April 28, 2013
  • She had just picked up her motorcycle from winter storage
  • She was an avid fan of Jon Stewart and the Cleveland Indians
  • She worked at Ms. for 20 years
  • In later years, she was an editor at Women's Media Center
Mary Thom died Friday at 68.
Mary Thom died Friday at 68.

(CNN) -- Journalist Mary Thom, a prominent feminist who was an editor of Ms. magazine in its early years, has died. She was 68.

Thom was killed Friday when she crashed her motorcycle on a highway in Yonkers, New York.

She helped found Ms., an influential feminist magazine, and served as an editor there for 20 years.

After leaving in 1992, she worked as editor in chief of the features section of the non-profit Women's Media Center, which works to raise women's visibility in the media.

"Mary was and will always be our moral compass and steady heart," said the center's co-founders Robin Morgan, Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda in a statement.

"Wherever her friends and colleagues gather, we will always ask the guiding question: What would Mary do?"

Thom had picked up her 1996 Honda Magna 750 from winter storage when she veered into traffic upon entering a highway in Yonkers, north of New York City.

She struck a vehicle and was struck by another, according to her nephew Thom Loubet.

The nephew's account was conveyed to CNN by Women's Media Center spokeswoman Cristal Chancellor.

The Westchester County police said it could not make the incident report available until later Sunday.

Born in Akron, Ohio, Thom spent all but 20 years of her life in Manhattan. As a result, her interests straddled the two.

She was an avid fan of comedian Jon Stewart, and she rooted for the Cleveland Indians.

In addition to her work with the magazine and the Women's Media Center, she consulted for several nonprofit women's organizations, including the National Council for Research on Women.

Among the books she authored was one on the history of Ms. Among those she edited was a history of feminist leader Bella Abzug.

"In Mary Thom's accidental death, Ms., the Women's Media Center and U.S. journalism suffer a huge loss," Morgan of the Women's Media Center said in a statement. "And I grieve for a wry, ethical friend."

Thom leaves behind her nephew, her sister Susan Thom Loubet, her niece-in-law Mariko Silver, and her grand-niece Kumi Silver Loubet.

"She was the source of our joy and our edits," the family said in a statement. "She charged through life with a generous and compassionate strength and wisdom, and that is how we will forever remember her."

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