Former Ms. magazine executive editor Mary Thom was killed Friday around 5 PM in Yonkers, NY in a motorcycle accident that shut down a major highway in both directions during rush hour.
A leading feminist and one of the founders of Ms. magazine, the 68-year-old Thom was riding a 1996 Honda Magna 750 that she was reportedly taking out of winter storage. She apparently hit a car, lost control, and was then hit by a second vehicle.
The accident is still being investigated. However, some commenters on a local news site have some harsh words for the area where it happened on Saw Mill River Parkway near Lockwood Avenue.
One woman described the area as a “death trap” that she avoids on weekdays. Another poster described it as a “kill zone.”
Mary Thom worked for Ms. magazine for two decades, leaving in 1992 to join the Women’s Media Center. Her friend and colleague, feminist spokeswoman Gloria Steinem said that Thom wasn’t a self-promoter.
As an editor, she liked to stay behind the scenes to encourage people to “tell their own story…[and] find their own voice,” Steinem said.
In a Women’s Media Center statement, WMC president Julie Burton said that the staff was still shattered by Mary Thom’s sudden death.
WMC Co-founders Robin Morgan, Gloria Steinem, and Jane Fonda said: “Writers from around the world have been able to share their words and ideas because of her.” The three founded the center to help empower progressive girls and women.
At the time of her death, Mary Thom wrote and consulted for several non-profit organizations, including the National Council for Research on Women. She was still editing three features a week for the WMC.
She was also editing a book that will be published this fall, Unspinning the Spin. How to Say What You Mean and De-Code the Hype by Rosalie Maggio.
The former Ms. editor and feminist icon will be missed.
[motorcycle photo by Wolfman57 via Shutterstock]