Gloria Steinem, journalist-turned-feminist icon and a cofounder of Ms. magazine, was born 79 years ago today in Toledo, OH.

Ms. started as a one-off insert in New York magazine in 1971, became a standalone publication the following year, and is still kicking. The magazine (according to Ms.), was the first American mag “to feature prominent American women demanding the repeal of laws that criminalized abortion, the first to explain and advocate for the ERA, to rate presidential candidates on women’s issues, to put domestic violence and sexual harassment on the cover of a women’s magazine, to feature feminist protest of pornography, to commission and feature a national study on date rape, and to blow the whistle on the undue influence of advertising on magazine journalism.” Not too shabby.

Since then, Steinem has remained a go-to voice in the feminist movement, speaking out against banning abortion and, recently, supporting mandatory paid sick leave in New York City.

Watch Steinem describe the origins of Ms. here:


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Kira Goldenberg is an associate editor at CJR. Follow her on Twitter at @kiragoldenberg.