Skip to Main Content

Karen DeCrow

Karen DeCrow (BSJ59) was a member of the Medill Hall of Achievement.

DeCrow was a nationally recognized attorney, author, and advocate specializing in Constitutional law, gender and age discrimination, and civil liberties. Her lifelong activism and dedication to promoting gender equality have had a profound effect on the lives of women and men on a global scale. DeCrow wrote and edited for a variety of organizations and publishers before earning her Juris Doctor from Syracuse University in 1972. She joined the National Organization for Women in 1967, ran for mayor of Syracuse in 1969 (the first woman mayoral candidate in New York) and authored the book, "The Young Woman’s Guide to Liberation" in 1971.

In 1974, the year her book "Sexist Justice—How Legal Sexism Affects You" was published, DeCrow was elected president of NOW and became the first in that capacity to be invited to the White House, where she met President Gerald Ford. She served as president of NOW until 1977. In 2009, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

DeCrow died in 2014.