Betty Friedan was born in 1921 in Peoria, Illinois. She graduated summa cum laude from Smith College in 1942, did graduate work in psychology at the University of California-Berkeley, and worked as a journalist before marrying in 1947. In 1957 Friedan coordinated a 15th-reunion survey of Smith classmates, the results of which revealed that a number of these women were dissatisfied with their lives. After an article she wrote based on this survey was rejected by a number of women's magazines, Friedan decided to investigate the issue of female fulfillment on a more ambitious scale. The result was her first book, the 1963 work The Feminine Mystique, which argued against the idea that "biology is destiny" and urged women to look beyond
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