Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Moment

Birth of "Free to Be… You and Me"

Birth of "Free to Be… You and Me"

More From Marlo

In this video

Tagged as

Thomas explains how she came to create the beloved and stereotype-busting children's book, record & show, "Free to Be… You and Me."

Marlo's Biography

Charity of Choice: St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital
Most Proud Of: Especially after growing up in Hollywood, “that I'm sane.” 
Pursing Your Dreams: "Never take no for an answer. Cause if the first person says, ‘no’ it's just cause they're asleep.”
Directing a Classroom: “Teaching is a lot like storytelling, it’s a lot like acting… you had to get the children’s attention in the first five minutes like you did with a play.”

Marlo Thomas is an award-winning actress, author and activist whose body of work continues to have an impact on American entertainment and culture.  She burst onto the scene as the star of television’s That Girl, which she also conceived and produced.  Featuring Thomas as Ann Marie - an unmarried, aspiring actress living away on her own in New York - the show broke new ground for independent women everywhere and launched Thomas into the heart of the burgeoning feminist movement.  “I was born to be a feminist,” recalls Thomas, who went on to create Free to Be... You and Me, her gender-busting children’s concept that became a platinum album, bestselling book, Emmy Award-winning television special and a stage show. The Free to Be… royalties helped Thomas join with Gloria Steinem and other Ms. editors to found the Ms. Foundation in 1973 as a resource for grassroots women’s organizations nationwide. 
 
Thomas is the author of numerous bestselling books including Free to Be You and Me, Free to Be a Family, The Right Words at the Right Time (Volumes 1 and 2), Thanks and Giving: All Year Long, and Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny.  She has been honored with four Emmy Awards, a Peabody, a Golden Globe, a Grammy and has been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Her activism has been equally recognized with the Helen Caldicott Award for Nuclear Disarmament, the ACLU's Thomas Paine Award, the American Women in Radio and Television Satellite Award, and the William Kunstler Racial Justice Award. It is a commitment to helping others that runs in her veins – she is the National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the pioneering children’s hospital founded by her father, Danny Thomas.
 
In 2010, Thomas’s unbounded energy, ingenuity, and belief in connecting women led her to start yet another multi-media venture - MarloThomas.com

Related Videos

Susan Sygall
Susan Sygall
CEO of Mobility International USA

Susan Sygall’s work has transformed international exchange and global development for people with disabilities. Sygall became a wheelchair rider after a car accident at age 1...

Halle Tecco
Halle Tecco
Health Care Entrepreneur

Halle Tecco is the co-founder and CEO of Rock Health, a startup accelerator for entrepreneurs in the world of health and technology. For five months, Rock Health hosts workshops an...

Marlen Esparza
Marlen Esparza
Boxer

Growing up in Houston, Texas, Marlen Esparza knew she wanted to be in the boxing ring. With the support of her father and coach - along with her hard work - Esparza has managed to ...

Susan Brownmiller
Susan Brownmiller
Author, "Against Our Will"

Susan Brownmiller is an author and feminist activist, best known for her groundbreaking book Against Her Will: Men, Women, and Rape, which helped modernize attitudes towards the ra...