Karen DeCrow, former president of NOW, dies at 76

Associated Press Published:

NOTABLE DEATHS

Karen DeCrow, 76, was NOW president

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Karen DeCrow, who led the National Organization for Women from 1974 to 1977, died Friday at her home near Syracuse. She was 76.

DeCrow joined NOW in 1967, inspired by the pay inequality she saw in her workplace. She joined the national board a year later.

and remained there until becoming president.

DeCrow advocated state ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, passed by Congress in 1972, throughout her tenure and lamented each time a state legislature voted against it. She called a North Carolina defeat in 1977 "an absolute crisis" and said a loss in Florida evoked the "Old South."

She continued her advocacy after her presidency, representing women in gender discrimination disputes -- among them, helping get the first woman admitted to the New York Elks Club in Rome in 2003 -- and writing a newspaper column.

The American Civil Liberties Union honored her in 1985 and she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2009.

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