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MAKERS Profile

Erin Brockovich

Environmental Activist

More From Erin

In this video

Brockovich on her childhood struggle with dyslexia, being a single mother of three, and how she spearheaded the largest direct action lawsuit of its kind against Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California.

Erin's Biography

Born and Raised: Lawrence, Kansas
First Job Out of School: Management trainee for K-Mart
Book Smart or Street Smart: "Oh. Street smart. Hands down."
Diplomatic or Direct: "I'd like to say diplomatic. I don't know... Direct."

Erin Brockovich is an environmental activist and former legal clerk who spearheaded the largest direct action lawsuit of its kind against Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California. Her story, how she stopped at nothing to construct the case, and her unflinching spirit became familiar to millions with the 2000 feature film Erin Brockovich.
 
Raised in Lawrence, Kansas by parents who taught her about “stick-to-it-iveness,” Brockovich learned to work through her dyslexia and avoid being boxed in by her learning disability. She earned an associate’s degree in applied arts, moved to California and found herself in and out of jobs as a single mother of three.
 
And then, a great misfortune turned into the most significant chapter of her career. After being seriously injured in a car accident, Brockovich hired Masry & Vititoe to represent her. They won such a tiny settlement that Brockovich lobbied the attorneys hire her so she could earn a living. While working as a file clerk organizing papers for a pro bono real estate case, she discovered troubling medical records that would lead her and Ed Masry to pursue a class action lawsuit against PG&E for knowingly contaminating the ground water near a Hinkley, California plant with toxic hexavalent chromium.
 
After years of research and court battles, in 1996, Brockovich watch as PG&E was forced to pay out the largest toxic tort injury settlement in US history: $333 million in damages to more than 600 Hinkley residents.
 
After the success of the Erin Brockovich movie, Brockovich has become a household name and icon of “stick-to-it-iveness.” She has hosted two television series “Challenge America With Erin Brockovich” and “Final Justice With Erin Brockovich” and wrote the New York Times best seller, “Take It From Me. Life’s A Struggle, But You Can Win.”
 
Brockovich is currently President of Brockovich Research & Consulting and continues to fight for the “1,900 Hinkleys” worldwide.

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