Printable Biography of Suzanne Braun Levine
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Suzanne Braun Levine is a writer, editor and nationally recognized authority on women and family issues and media. She was the first editor of Ms. magazine and the only woman editor of the Columbia Journalism Review. In her recent work Levine has defined a new stage of life – Women in Second Adulthood – and she reports on the ongoing changes in women’s lives in her books, on her website, on television and radio, as a frequent guest blogger and lecturer.
She is an advisor to several women’s and media groups, and organizations dealing with midlife transitions and on the Board of Civic Ventures, a nonprofit think tank on boomers, work and social purpose.
Her features – “Inventing the Rest of My Life” – appear on the More magazine’s web site; she is also a Contributing Editor to the magazine. She is a contributor to Encore.org, The Transition Network, ThirdAge.com, VibrantNation.com, SheWrites.com and a regular guest on “Feisty Side of Fifty” Radio with host Mary Eileen Williams, the founder of Feistysideoffifty.com.
Suzanne’s new book, HOW WE LOVE NOW:: Sex and the New Intimacy in Second Adulthood (Viking/January 2, 2012) is the groundbreaking, funny, poignant and sometimes shocking “next chapter” in Levine’s ongoing conversation with Women In Second Adulthood, the stage she celebrated in two popular books: INVENTING THE REST OF OUR LIVES (Viking, 2005) and FIFTY IS THE NEW FIFTY (Viking, 2009).
From its founding in 1972 to 1988, Levine edited Ms. magazine the feminist publication which popularized the designation of Ms. for women, pioneered a new kind of personal reporting and political activism in its pages – now core elements of women’s engagement and activism on the Web.
The magazine received worldwide recognition for its coverage of previously unreported or under-reported issues that concerned women – from abortion, rape, domestic violence, genital mutilation, to equal pay and access to credit, sport opportunities for girls, and women in the media and arts. Many of these issues are at the center of national and international political debates and policies today.
While at Ms., Levine developed and produced the Peabody-Award winning HBO special “She’s Nobody’s Baby: A History of American Women in the 20th Century.” A book based on the special was written by Susan Dworkin and edited by Levine (A Fireside Book, Simon & Schuster, 1983). She also conceived and co-edited with Harriet Lyons, A Decade of Women: A Ms. History of the Seventies in Words and Pictures (Putnam, l980).
She was the guest Editor-in-Chief of the 30th Anniversary issue of Ms. magazine in 2002. Levine was honored by the magazine as a “Ms. Woman of the Year” in 2004. The papers from her years at Ms. are now in the Sophia Smith Collection of Women’s Archives at Smith College along with other collections from those years, including Gloria Steinem’s papers.
She was the editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, the prestigious monitor of media matters, from 1989 to 1997. Her essay “A News Consumer’s Bill of Right’s” is included in CONSUMING DESIRES (Island Press, 1999) edited by Roger Rosenblatt.
Her pioneering book on how men are changing the role of fatherhood, FATHER COURAGE: What Happens When Men Put Family First (Harcourt/ 2000) gave voice to an “unsung revolution” of fathers trying to co-parent in a society that discourages men from doing so. Its honesty and vision continue to inspire and resonate with men who are making changes in their lives and the lives of their children today. Her essay on the politics of family life – “Parenting: A New Social Contract” – is included in SISTERHOOD IS FOREVER, edited by Robin Morgan (Atria Books, 2003).
In 2007, she co-authored (with editor and author Mary Thom) a widely acclaimed oral history of Congresswoman Bella Abzug (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2007). BELLA ABZUG: How One Tough Broad from the Bronx Fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, Pissed Off Jimmy Carter, Battled for the Rights of Women and Workers, Rallied Against War and for the Planet, and Shook Up Politics Along the Way, chronicles the life and passion of one of our most influential leaders.
In 2009, Suzanne joined the Board of Civic Ventures (www.civicventures.org) the think tank founded by Marc Freedman in l998 that promotes an Encore lifestyle that includes second careers that combine personal meaning, continued income and social impact – releasing a windfall of talent to solve society’s greatest problems. She is also on the Board of the Ms. Foundation for Education and Communication, on the Advisory Board for the Women’s Media Center and The Transition Network, and is a Mentor-Editor for The OpEd Project.
Suzanne began her magazine journalism career as an editor and reporter for Seattle, Mademoiselle, McCall’s and Sexual Behavior magazines after graduating with honors from Harvard University. She has received numerous honors and taught journalism at several universities.
She lives in New York with Her husband Robert F. Levine, an attorney. They have two adult children.
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