Caroline Bird

Caroline Bird was the only child of Hobart Stanley Bird and Ida Brattrud. Her father was a crusading journalist and civil rights activist in Cuba before establishing a law practice in New York City. One of his ancestors was the first mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, and Caroline’s great grandmother taught in Madison’s first school. Caroline has had a lifelong interest in her pioneer ancestors and their photos were prominently displayed in her home.As a child, Caroline frequently appeared in newspaper and magazine articles as an example of a child genius because of her association with Winifred Sackville Stoner, founder of the Natural Education movement. Caroline learned to type at a very early age and published Rhythms, a book of poems, at age 9.Caroline spent her childhood in the Tuckahoe-Mohegan Heights area of New York and attended Public School #8. She graduated from Roosevelt High School in Yonkers at the age of 15 and attended finishing schools in Switzerland and Paris.At Vassar College, Caroline majored in economics but left in 1934, her junior year. On 8 June 1934, Caroline married Edward A. Menuez and moved to Toledo, Ohio. Caroline earned a B.A. in American history from the University of Toledo in 1938 and her M.A. in comparative literature from the University of Wisconsin in 1939. Caroline and Edward had one child, a daughter.When WWII began, Edward Menuez was working as a civil engineer in Trinidad. He felt compelled to join the Marines and shipped out leaving Caroline at home. While Edward was away, Caroline held several editorial positions . She and many other women were laid off at the end of the war as male editors returned to their desks. Caroline and Edward were divorced in December 1945.Caroline had already moved from editorial positions to freelance writing. On 5 January 1957 Caroline married a fellow writer, John Thomas Mahoney. Tom Mahoney wrote magazine articles but also took on many other kinds of writing projects including co-writing or ghost writing a number of books. Tom was Caroline’s biggest fan and was responsible for her inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary by submitting her sexism speech to Vital Speeches.In 1961, Tom and Caroline had a son.In 1966, Caroline had her first adult book published under her own name by McKay. The Invisible Scar was a socioeconomic study of the Great Depression. Ideas for Caroline’s books come from real life and her family, like many others, had been adversely affected by the Depression. While doing research for The Invisible Scar at the FDR Library in Hyde Park, New York, and at Vassar College Library, Caroline and her husband bought a house in Poughkeepsie to add a country home to their Gramercy Park apartment.Caroline’s next book, Born Female: the High Cost of Keeping Women Down, grew out of an article on discrimination against women in business that was rejected by the Saturday Evening Post. Years later when Sofia Montenegro, a Sandinista and probably the most prominent feminist activist in Latin America, was asked how she became a revolutionary, she said that she was 16 years old when she read Born Female and that it was a turning point in her life.In 1975, Caroline wrote The Case Against College, which continues to be used in debates and discussed on college campuses today and is probably her most controversial book. She was always a lively and provocative speaker and was often asked to appear on college campuses, on TV and radio.In 1979, Caroline was honored as #26 in a set of 72 Supersisters trading cards developed to give little girls superheros. The other Caroline B

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