Doris Fleischman Bernays (1891–1980)

Author of A Wife Is Many Women

Includes the names: Doris E. Fleischman

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Doris Fleischman was the second of four daughters born to a Jewish-American family in New York City. She graduated in 1913 from Barnard College, where she won varsity letters in softball, basketball, and tennis. She also studied music and considered a singing career. She got a job after college with the New York Tribune and wrote for the women's page before being promoted to assistant Sunday editor. She interviewed Theodore Roosevelt, Irene Castle, and Jane Addams, among others, and became the first woman to cover a boxing match. In 1919, Edward L. Bernays, whom she had known since childhood, hired Doris as a writer for his new public relations consulting firm. She spent the next 61 years working for and with him. The couple married in 1922. When the newlyweds registered at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, she wrote her name as "Doris Fleischman," a gesture that made headlines the next day. She continued to use her maiden name and was also known professionally as Doris Fleischman Bernays. At age 57, she published an article, "Notes of a Retiring Feminist" in the American Mercury, in which she stated, "Mrs. stands to the right of me, and Miss stands to the left. Me is a ghost somewhere in this middle." Doris wrote most of the Bernays firm's press releases, speeches, and important letters. She also sold articles to national publications, mainly about women and work, both inside and outside the home. In 1955, she published her memoir, A Wife Is Many Women. She received a National Headliner Award from the Association for Women in Communications in 1972.
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