I’ve always known of Marlo Thomas. She was an important part of my childhood because I had near constant insomnia and as such spent an inordinate amount of time watching infomercials. No, I’m not proud. There were times when I needed a break from all the folks selling me stuff and craved some story so I’d switch to the ads for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Ms. Thomas would be there along with the celebrity of the day talking about the kids as well as her father’s legacy and dreams for the hospital. Every time she said “my father”, I’d cringe as, at ten years old, I just assumed she’d taken over after her father passed away because she had nothing of her own to do. Well, dear10-year-old me, shame on you!
One day recently my mouse was cruising around Huffington Post when I came across this article, Passing the torch…Who’s Going to Run With It? by Marlo Thomas and I thought, “Lady, what torch are you passing?” So I read it and I was floored and a little ashamed. As it turns out, we all have this woman to thank for breaking down barriers and fighting tooth and nail for so many of the freedoms that we take for granted.
1. She created, produced and starred in That Girl, a show about an independent woman pursuing a career in a time when certain states still wouldn’t even give a woman a bank loan, never mind her own television show.
2. She co-founded the Ms. Foundation for Women, the first women’s fund in the country!
3. Through the Ms Foundation she was responsible for the album, book and subsequent television specials, Free to Be… You and Me, which was a huge hit and taught little girls and boys that they could be whoever they wanted to be and do whatever they wanted to do.
So, Ms. Thomas, as a product of the “free to be” generation, I humbly bow down and thank you for all you’ve done and all you’ve inspired. Thank you.
image via marlothomas.com