Despite working in her husband’s office for much of her career, Doris Fleischman was an ardent feminist who made history as the first American married woman issued a passport under her own name.Fleischman studied at Barnard College before joining the staff of the New York Tribune, first as a writer for the women’s page, then as assistant Sunday editor, interviewing Theodore Roosevelt and Jane Addams, among others, and becoming the first female reporter to cover a prizefight. In 1919 publicist Edward L. Bernays hired her to his staff, and the pair married in 1922, with Fleischman signing her maiden name on the registry at the Waldorf-Astoria on their honeymoon. A longstanding member of the Lucy Stone League, which argued for women to keep their names after marriage, she applied for and received a passport as Doris Fleischman in 1925. Despite this, she felt deep ambivalence about her identity, which she discussed in her 1949 article, “Notes of a Retiring Feminist,” and in her 1955 memoir, A Wife Is Many Women. Fleischman worked as a publicist for her husband’s firm for decades, writing most of the firm’s press releases, speeches, and correspondence. In 1972 the Association for Women in Communications honored her with their Headliner Award.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Doris Fleischman ." (Viewed on April 23, 2017) <https://jwa.org/people/fleischman-doris>.