Gloria Marie Steinem was born in Toledo, Ohio. Her father was an antique salesman who traveled in a trailer all around the USA buying and selling with his family in tow. The family split in 1944 and Gloria went to live with her mother in Toledo. She had to support them both because her mother was constantly sick.
In 1952 Steinem entered the Smith College. She majored in government studies and became politically active working for Adlai Stevensonís campaign. She graduated 1956 and left to study in India for two years. When she returned to USA, she was unable to find a job as a journalist because editors wanted male reporters. After two years she landed in a job as a assistant editor of Help! magazine and also freelanced for other magazines. In 1963 she became a full-time freelance writer.
After a series of celebrity interviews, Steinem was eventually able to get a political assignment in covering George McGovern's presidential campaign. This led to a position in a New York magazine. She also became politically active in the feminist movement.
In 1971 Steinem founded National Womenís Political Caucus and Womenís Action Alliance. In 1972 she founded feminist magazine Ms and wrote for it until its closing in 1987.
In 1974 Steinem founded the Coalition of Labor Union Women. In 1977 she participated in the National Conference of Women in Houston, Texas.
In 1991 when Ms magazine revived, she became its consulting editor. In 1993 she was inducted into National Womenís Hall of Fame. She also contracted trigeminal neuralgia in 1994.