MAKERS Profile

Phyllis Schlafly

Conservative Activist

In this video

Phyllis Schlafly on building a grassroots conservative movement and her victory against the Equal Rights Amendment.
//Phyllis Schlafly passed away at the age of 92 on September 5, 2016. Prior to her passing, she spoke with MAKERS about her career as a lawyer and activist. //   Phyllis Schlafly was 28 years old when she ran a 1952 long-shot Congressional campaign in Illinois' 24th district. Though she failed to win the seat, the effort announced her arrival in the emerging conservative movement. By 1964, the mother of six had self-published the best-selling "A Choice Not An Echo" in support of Barry Goldwater's presidential candidacy. The book remains a crucial text of conservative strategy and self-definition. She founded the "pro-family" Eagle Forum in 1972 and spent much of the decade fighting — and ultimately defeating — ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, against all foreseeable odds.  Even feminists who rued her victory, couldn't deny her monumental impact and game-changing grassroots activism. With her Stop ERA campaign, Schlafly built and mobilized the socially conservative, "pro-family," religious coalition that swept Ronald Reagan to office and remains a dominant force in Republican politics.   Schlafly is the author of 21 books. In 2008, her alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis, granted her an honorary degree for having "sparked widespread debate and controversies that in many cases have helped people better formulate and articulate their own views about the values they hold."

More From Phyllis

Husband's Permission
The classic Schlafly line that ruffled so many feminist feathers. 

The Problem with Feminism
Schlafly worries about the negative impact of feminism.

A Long Line of Strong Women
Schlafly describes how coming from a long line of strong women gave her the sense that she could do anything.

Not Your Typical College Job
Schlafly talks about working her way through college at a St. Louis weapons and ammunition plant testing guns.

First Job in Politics
Schlafly talks about her first foray into politics and how it drew her out of her shell.

Chopped Onions Aren't Enough
A demanding job means making sacrifices, even in a world of pre-chopped veggies.

Dealing with Controversy
Her husband's simple advice on learning to take political punches.

Important Differences
Schlafly argues that some laws treating men and women differently had a fundamental logic behind them.

24/7 Jobs
Schlafly explains why she doesn't believe in the "glass ceiling."

Planning Space for a Family
Schlafly advises young women to save space for marriage and family in their life plans.

Pro-Life Candidates
Schlafly's legacy can been seen in the number of female Republican candidates and the party's pro-life stance.

Going to Law School at 50
How a bet with her son sent Schlafly to law school late in life.