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Amy Swerdlow

An active member of Women Strike for Peace and founder of Women’s History Month, Amy Swerdlow created opportunities for ordinary women to become agents of change. Swerdlow married in 1949 but continued her education while raising children, graduating from NYU in 1962 and earning a PhD from Rutgers in 1984. She became a board member of the Feminist Press in 1973 and from 1976–1979 served as director of the American Historical Association’s Institute for Women’s History in Secondary Schools. In 1979 she was one of five women to create Women’s History Month with a fifteen-day conference at Sarah Lawrence. Two years later, she became professor of women’s and American history at Sarah Lawrence, later taking over for Gerda Lerner as director of their Women’s Studies Program. In her many years with Women Strike for Peace, she encouraged middle-class wives and mothers to leverage their traditional roles to highlight the impact of nuclear weapons on their children’s health and safety. She published a history of the organization, Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s, in 1993.

Amy Swerdlow
Full image

Activist, professor, and author Amy Swerdlow.

Courtesy Sarah Lawrence College.

Date of Birth
January 20, 1923
Place of Birth
New York, New York
Date of Death
March 30, 2012

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Amy Swerdlow." (Viewed on November 20, 2018) <>.


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