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Founding, enduring feminist Bella Abzug is dead at 77 'Battling Bella' served three terms in House

April 01, 1998|By Susan Baer | Susan Baer,SUN NATIONAL STAFF Sun staff writers Thomas W. Waldron and Liz Bowie contributed to this article.

After graduating from Columbia Law School in 1947, she went to work for the Civil Rights Congress and the American Civil Liberties Union, and then defended several people accused of Communist activities by Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

Distinctively dressed

Even as a young lawyer, Ms. Abzug was seldom seen without a hat. She once explained that she started wearing them to keep people from mistaking her, one of the few female lawyers at the time, for a secretary.

Battling breast cancer and heart disease in her later years and often using a wheelchair, she continued to travel the globe and speak out on women's issues.

Several years ago, she was asked if she ever regretted having spent so much time working while her two daughters, Isobel and Eve Gail, were growing up.

"I loved my husband very dearly, and I loved my children very dearly," she replied. "But there was something else that I cared about. In my heart and soul, I had the need to have an independent journey to search for the light."

Pub Date: 4/01/98

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