Women of Valor



Molly Picon, 1898 - 1992

"As for Papa—well Papa was disdainful of life in general and, I think of me in particular. He never worked. He was just too "educated" to do menial labor. Basically, he was just "anti": anti-capitalist, anti-religion, anti-labor, and anti-girls. ...He just faded out of our lives...Never did he ever hug or kiss Helen or me. I was and still am sorry we never really knew papa."

Molly Picon was born to Clara Ostrick and Louis Picon, in a tenement building on New York's lower east side. Before Molly was three, her restless father moved his young family to New Jersey and Chicago before finally settling down in Philadelphia. His sporadic work could not support the family, and it was Clara—or Mama Picon—that kept the family alive by working as a seamstress for the Yiddish Theater.

  1. "As for Papa..." Picon, Molly & Bergantini Grillo, Jean, Molly! (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1980)11.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women of Valor - Molly Picon - Birth." (Viewed on April 23, 2014) <http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/picon/birth>.