Phyllis Schlafly: Conservative Activist
Phyllis Schlafly speaks about her passion for politics and her determination to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment.
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."