NEW YORK Renowned feminist and former women's magazine editor Mary Thom was killed in a motorcycle crash over the weekend in Yonkers, New York, friends and colleagues said.
Thom, 68, a former editor of Ms. Magazine, crashed her motorcycle on the Saw Mill Parkway on Friday evening, said Eleanor Smeal, publisher of Ms. Magazine and a close friend of Thom.
An accomplished author, editor and journalist, Thom devoted her career to giving voice to women's rights issues in books, magazine columns and through her work within the women's movement, which mourned the loss over the weekend.
"We, who are Mary's friends and family haven't absorbed her loss yet: it's too sudden,'' said actress Jane Fonda and feminist authors Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan, three co-founders of the Women's Media Center, in a statement.
"Ms. Magazine, the Women's Media Center, the women's movement and American journalism have suffered an enormous blow."
Thom, an Akron, Ohio, native, spent more than a quarter century at Ms. Magazine and wrote a book about working her way from an entry level research position to executive editor in "Inside Ms.: 25 Years of the Magazine and the Feminist Movement," according to Smeal.
Thom also edited a book of letters sent to the magazine during the publication's formative years between 1972-1987.
Smeal said she would sorely miss Thom's virtually constant presence at the heart of the movement over decades.
"She was always there,'' Smeal said on Sunday. "She was always there as a guiding hand to make sure that the spirit of feminism came through in everything we wrote at the Women's Media Center and at Ms. Magazine. She will truly be missed."
Thom was an avid motorcycle enthusiast who never owned a car and had been riding for four decades, her nephew Thom Loubet told the Journal News newspaper in Westchester, New York.
She was a top editor at the Women's Media Center at the time of her death, Smeal said.
(Reporting by Chris Francescani; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jackie Frank)