Phyllis Schlafly is a central figure in the new Hulu series Mrs. America. As you’re watching the series, you may find yourself wondering about her cause of death. Read on for more details.
She Died of Cancer at the Age of 92
On September 5, 2016, Schlafly died of cancer. She was 92 years old.
Before she died, she endorsed Donald Trump for President and even joined him at a rally in St. Louis in March 2016, Politico reported. At the time, she already knew she was battling terminal cancer. She told the crowd: “I think he has the courage and the energy—you know you have to have energy for that job—in order to bring some changes, to do what the grass roots want him to do, because this is a grass-roots uprising. We’ve been following the losers for so long. Now we’ve got a guy who’s going to lead us to victory.”
You can see a clip of her at the rally below and an interview with Fox about her endorsement:
More details about the type of cancer that Schlafly had were not released, except that she died at her home in St. Louis surrounded by family. In fact, her illness was not shared publicly before she passed away. But she had been sick for some time with cancer when she passed away, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Her daughter, Anne Schlafly Cori, told STL Today that Phyllis was isolated in the last months of her life. “I’m very sorry to say my mother was isolated from her best friends in the last six months of her life. There were a number of people who were banned from seeing her,” she said.
Schlafly Led a Busy, Successful Life
Schlafly was married to John Fred Schlafly, Jr. from the age of 25 until he died in 1993. She was also a lawyer, having received her law degree in 1978.
STL Today reported that her mom was a librarian at the St. Louis Art Museum for more than two decades. Her father was John Bruce Stewart, a machinist and salesman. He lost his job during the Great Depression. He patented a rotary car engine in 1944 but was not able to profit off the patent, despite Mazda selling the same type of engine later, the New York Times reported.
Schlafly graduated from college in just three years and earned a master’s degree from Radcliffe in nine months in political science. She earned her JD from Washington University Law School.
In the 1950s, Schlafly joined a right-wing movement against Communism and in the 1960s she published her bestseller: “A Choice Not an Echo,” The New York Times reported. She went on to author or edit 27 books, her bio notes. She even ran for Congress twice but lost both times: in 1952 and 1972, STL Today reported.
She supported Barry Goldwater’s presidential run and campaigned against the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s. The Amendment ended up being only three votes away from being approved, despite having bipartisan support.
She was also appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve on the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution from 1985-1991. In 1992, she was named Illinois Mother of the Year.
An article by Boston.com in 2004 noted that Schlafly was still campaigning against gay marriage and abortion.
In 2005, the New Republic wrote about Schlafly: “If political influence consists in transforming this huge and cantankerous country in one’s preferred direction, Schlafly has to be regarded as one of the two or three most important Americans of the last half of the 20th century.”
In March of 2016, Schlafly endorsed Donald Trump for President, the New York Times reported. She said that he had the courage and energy to do “what the grassroots want him to do.”
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