Phyllis Schlafly, Conservative Activist, Dies At 92

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Phyllis Schlafly, 92-year-old conservative activist and author, died Monday afternoon at her home in St. Louis after a battle with cancer, according to the Associated Press. Schlafly was best known for helping to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and for founding the ultraconservative Eagle Forum political group.

Schlafly graduated from Washington University in 1944 at age 19, going on to get a master's degree in government from Harvard in 1945 and later graduating from Washington University School of Law. At just 22 years old, she guided the successful 1946 campaign of Republican congressional candidate Claude Bakewell. She ran for Congress herself in 1970.

In between these achievements, Schlafly was particularly outspoken about issues such as homosexuality, women, and immigration. She opposed same-sex marriage, abortion, loosening border restrictions, and feminism.

"What I am defending is the real rights of women," Schlafly said of her beliefs, according to the AP. "A woman should have the right to be in the home as a wife and mother."

Her comments received backlash both verbally and physically, when students and faculty at Washington University's 2008 commencement silently turned their backs to the stage while she received an honorary degree. Before that, Schlafly had experienced everything from a pie being smashed into her face to pig’s blood thrown on her body.

Despite this, Schlafly remained active in politics into her 80’s, publishing a monthly newsletter, a column, and doing radio commentaries on over 460 stations. Schlafly’s husband died in 1993. She is survived by her children Andrew Schlafly, Bruce Schlafly, Anne Cori Schlafly, Liza Schlafly, Roger Schlafly, and John Schlafly.

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