Ann Coulter for Human Events
Phyllis Schlafly, the St. Louis-born American intellectual who grew from a shy and beautiful girl to become one of the most influential political activists of the 20th and 21st century, died today, Monday, September 5, 2016 according to Eagle Forum.
Schlafly has written or co-written more than 20 books, on military policy, education, legal and social issues. Her first book, “A Choice, Not an Echo,” is credited with winning Barry Goldwater the Republican nomination for president and inspiring the conservative movement that eventually led to Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Her military work was a major factor in Reagan’s’ decision to proceed with High Frontier technology.
Since 1967, Schlafly has published the Phyllis Schlafly Report and in 1972, Schlafly founded The Eagle Forum, which grew to nearly 100,000 members. Her syndicated column appeared in 100 newspapers, her radio commentaries were broadcast on more than 400 stations, and her radio talk show, “Eagle Forum Live,” was broadcast on 45 stations and the Internet. Throughout her career, Schlafly gave college speeches – including in January 2009, in her still-spry 80’s, when, at a Berkeley speech, she fell and broke a hip.
She was appointed by President Reagan to serve on the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution from 1985-1991. For years, Schlafly was the National Defense Chairman of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Over the years, Schlafly testified before more than 50 congressional and state legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues. She has been a delegate at every Republican National Convention since 1956. The Ladies’ Home Journal named Schlafly one of the 100 most important women of the 20th century.
Phyllis McAlpin Stewart was born in 1924 in St. Louis to John Bruce Stewart and Odile Dodge.
She was raised Republican and Catholic – though one great grandfather was a Presbyterian. Her father lost his job as a salesman of industrial equipment during the Depression and was unable to find work again for years, during which time he invented and patented the rotary engine. Schlafly’s mother went to work as a schoolteacher and librarian, allowing Schlafly and her younger sister, Odile, to attend a Catholic girls school.
She was valedictorian of her high school class and won a full scholarship to a Catholic women’s college, but decided it was not challenging enough, so she worked her way through Washington University. With no scholarship money, Schlafly earned spare money as a model and also as a machine-gunner at a St. Louis ordnance plant — at that time the world’s largest.
She earned straight A’s from Washington University and graduated a year early, Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Sigma Alpha (the National Political Science Honor Society). Her undergraduate political science professor wrote that her “intellectual capacity is extraordinary and her analytical ability is distinctly remarkable . . . I have no hesitation whatsoever in saying that [Schlafly] is the most capable woman student we have had in this department in ten years.”
Schlafly then attended Harvard graduate school on a scholarship, earning a Masters degree in political science in seven months. She received A’s in constitutional law, international law, and public administration, and an A- in modern political theory. (And this was long before “Everyone-Gets-An-A” grade inflation.)
Though Harvard Law School did not admit women, Schlafly’s professors urged her to stay and attend law school. Alternatively, they proposed that she earn her doctorate. (Imagine the Harvard faculty meetings if she had stayed on and become a professor there!)
Her constitutional law professor at Harvard called her “brilliant” — and consider that this was back when Harvard was a serious place, so it meant something. The professor who intervened on her behalf, Benjamin Wright, was a distinguished constitutional historian — the sort of legitimate scholar who probably wouldn’t have a chance of being hired by today’s Harvard.
Schlafly said “no thanks” to Harvard Law and instead went to Washington, D.C. for a year, where she worked at the precursor institution to the American Enterprise Institute. It was the only time this monumental American political figure lived in the nation’s capitol.
After D.C, she returned to Missouri in 1949, married Republican lawyer Fred Schlafly, and raised six amazingly accomplished children in Alton, Illinois, where she lived until Fred’s death in 1994.