MAKERS Profile

Muriel Fox

Co-Founder, NOW

In this video

In this MAKERS interview, Muriel Fox talks about breaking into the male-dominated public relations world of the 1940s, meeting Betty Friedan in 1963, and becoming a co-founder of the "NAACP" for women, NOW, and making history. 
Muriel Fox is a co-founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and, as a prominent public relations executive at Carl Byoir, wrote the organization's first press release, an achievement that made waves for the national women's movement.   In 1963, when Fox met Betty Friedan at an event and told Friedan to count her in if she ever started the "NAACP for women" Friedan mentioned. And in 1966, with thirty-some other NOW founders, Friedan and Fox drafted NOW's Statement of Purpose.   In 1967, Fox became chair of NOW’s first Public Relations Task Force. She served on the NOW Board for ten years, and was elected Chair of the Board in 1971. Fox was also founder of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (now Legal Momentum), serving as President and as Board Chair for 13 years. In her time at NOW, she helped fight for essential legislation including Executive Order 11246, which added sex to Affirmative Action, and she wrote the 1968 letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission explaining the need to 'desexigrate' Help Wanted Ads.   Fox has received numerous awards and accolades for her life's work, including being the first woman to receive the "Business Leader of the Year" Award from Americans for Democratic Action and the first public relations executive to win the Achievement Award of American Women in Radio & Television. The NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund also created the Muriel Fox Award for Communications Leadership Toward a Just Society (also known as the "Foxy") in her honor. Fox now serves as Chair of the Veteran Feminists of America board.

More From Muriel

Statement of Purpose
Co-founder of NOW Muriel Fox talks about what she believes was one of Betty Friedan's most important pieces of writing: NOW's statement of purpose.

Feminist Marriages
Co-founder of NOW Muriel Fox talks about how her husband was a feminist and why marriages that embrace feminism have the potential to be stronger and healthier.

Corsages and Lemons
In this MAKERS interview, co-founder of NOW Muriel Fox reflects on how people perceived women who went to college and the difference between a female graduate who was engaged and who was single.

We Are a Movement
Co-founder of NOW Muriel Fox talks about marching with a movement and the power that the masses can have on the individual.

Glass Ceilings and Sacrifice
In this MAKERS interview, co-founder of NOW Muriel Fox talks about the reality for women in the workplace and how many women sacrificed their jobs to take part of the women's movement and open doors for the next generation to come.

All of Us Experience Sexual Harassment
Co-founder of NOW Muriel Fox talks about why it was necessary to fight for sexual harassment to be written into law and how the Anita Hill controversy in 1991 raised women's awareness of the issue.

Fighting for the ERA
In this MAKERS interview, co-founder of NOW Muriel Fox talks about how we must end gender discrimination law by law, and how fighting for the ERA is a huge part of that puzzle that has yet to be complete.

Money, Politics and Fighters
Co-founder of NOW Muriel Fox talks about how the coordination of a movement is necessary to breakthrough glass ceilings and open doors.

Betty Friedan's Lieutenant
Co-founder of NOW Muriel Fox talks candidly about Betty Friedan as a leader who may have been impossible to deal with, but deserves credit for sparking the women's movement.