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Dolores Alexander interviewed by Kelly Anderson, March 20, 2004 and October 22, 2005

 File — Box: 2
Transcript of Dolores Alexander interview
Transcript of Dolores Alexander interview
Link to video
Link to video

Scope and Contents

In this oral history Alexander reflects on her childhood in New Jersey, her education, and her early marriage as a lead-in to her involvement with the women's movement. Alexander details her relationship to Betty Friedan and the National Organization for Women and her painful experiences as part of the lesbian purge. Alexander also describes her life with Mother Courage, the restaurant she opened with partner Jill Ward, which became a hub of radical feminism in the 70s. Lastly, she reflects on her work with Women Against Pornography and the anti-pornography movement's place in feminism. (Transcript 61 pp.)

Dates of Materials

  • March 20, 2004 and October 22, 2005


Conditions Governing Web Access

At the direction of the interviewer, the recording of this interview may only be placed on the web if access is restricted to the Smith College community. Please consult with special collections staff at to inquire about the existence of or access to digital copies. The interviewer and narrator for this interview have agreed that the transcript may be placed on the web.

Conditions Governing Access

This interview is open for research use without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. Researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical / Historical

Dolores Alexander (August 10, 1931 – May 13, 2008) was raised in a working-class Italian community in Newark, NJ, and educated in Catholic schools. She attended City College in the late 1950s. Alexander worked in journalism most of her professional life and it was in her capacity as a reporter for Newsday that she came across a press release announcing the formation of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966. Alexander became NOW's first Executive Director from 1969-1970, was a co-owner of a lesbian feminist restaurant in the Village with partner Jill Ward during the 1970s, and was a founder of Women Against Pornography in the 1980s. She had been present at many significant events of the women's movement: integrating the Want Ads in the New York Times, the lesbian purge of NOW, the National Women's Conference in Houston in 1977, and the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. Alexander remained active in the lesbian community on the North Fork of Long Island until her death.

Language of Materials