Jessica (always known as "Decca") was one of the youngest of the six famous Mitford sisters. She objected to the far right-wing political opinions in her family and became a Communist at an early age. At age 19, she eloped with her cousin Esmond Romilly, who had fought with the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. In 1939, the couple moved to the USA. Romilly was killed flying with the Royal Canadian Air Force at the start of World War II. Jessica later met and married radical lawyer Robert Treuhaft and moved with him to California. It was there that she began her own distinguished writing and reporting career. Her most famous work is still The American Way of Death (1963), which helped revolutionize the funeral industry.