Madelyn B. Tripp, 93, women's movement leader

Madelyn B. Tripp
Madelyn B. Tripp
Posted: June 27, 2014

Madelyn B. Tripp, 93, of Bryn Mawr, a professor, author, and passionate leader of the women's movement of the 1970s and 1980s, died of cancer Wednesday, June 18, at the Beaumont at Bryn Mawr retirement community.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Tripp, known as "Maggie," was proud to have taken classes at Penn's Wharton School of Business, said Alan Tripp, her husband of 73 years.

Ms. Tripp was an entrepreneur, owning a flower delivery service, an international gift shop, and a Philadelphia art gallery. But her great passion was for women's studies.

When Ms. Tripp moved to New York in 1968, she began a career as a teacher-in-residence for women's studies at the New School for Social Research.

Upon arrival, she met influential people in the women's rights movement. Ms. Tripp dressed sharply in her Peck & Peck designer suit. The others "were all dressed in jeans," Alan Tripp said.

Ms. Tripp also taught courses at New York University and Temple University. She created a broad curriculum of courses on women's history and women making history.

She wrote and edited the book Woman in the Year 2000, published in 1974. The book's coauthors included Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, and Letty Cottin Pogrebin. Long Island Newsday called Ms. Tripp "the respected mouthpiece of the women's movement."

"When Maggie saw something she wanted, she didn't just join it," Alan Tripp said. "She led it."

Ms. Tripp traveled across the United States and Europe, lecturing on the changing roles of women for the State Department.

She argued for women's rights at universities and on radio and TV, and wrote articles for publications, such as Modern Bride, in which she advised women how to maintain personal and financial independence, and healthy marriages.

"She had the habit of holding back when talking until she had something to say, which is why people listened to her," her husband said.

The University of Illinois Press included Ms. Tripp's biography in the first directory of "Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975," and the Veteran Feminists of America has featured her work online.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Ms. Tripp returned to the area with her husband after retiring from the New School.

"She succeeded in combining professional careers with family love," Alan Tripp said. The couple had two children, Jeff and Barbara Tripp Berman, who is deceased.

"You always knew where you stood with Maggie. She was blunt," Alan Tripp said. "And that was charming."

In addition to her husband and son, Ms. Tripp is survived by three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Services were held Sunday. Contributions may be made to the Maggie Tripp Library at the Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central St., Wellesley, Mass. 02481.



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