Ex-Ms. Magazine Editor Dies

Prominent feminist Mary Thom, a writer and former editor of Ms. magazine who also was an avid motorcyclist, crashed while riding on a highway and was killed, her nephew said Saturday. She was 68.

Thom had a passion for riding motorcycles and died riding her 1996 Honda Magna 750 on Friday evening on the Saw Mill River Parkway in Yonkers, just north of New York City, nephew Thom Loubet said.

"The important thing to know about Mary is that she was a major leader of the 70's Feminist movement, but never desired the limelight," Loubet said in an email. "She stayed behind the scenes tirelessly crafting the message and simply making it better."

Thom was one of Ms. magazine's founding members and served as an editor there for about 20 years, leaving in 1992. She also was an author who wrote a book about the history of Ms. and was a co-author, with Suzanne Braun Levine, of an oral history of former congresswoman and activist Bella Abzug.

Most recently, Thom was the editor-in-chief of the Women's Media Center's features department, which produces reports and commentaries by national and international contributors.

Thom, an Akron, Ohio, native, lived for decades in New York City, where she became one of the women's movement's best editors, feminist icon Gloria Steinem said.

"She had a gift for helping people tell their own story, not for helping them sound like others, but helping them find their own voice," Steinem said.

Thom loved baseball, especially the Cleveland Indians, and adored watching Jon Stewart's hit Comedy Central program, "The Daily Show," Loubet said.

Thom is survived by her sister and other relatives.

Her death was first reported by The Journal News. Westchester County police did not immediately return calls seeking comment on the crash.

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