Gail Sheehy

portrait of Gail Sheehy


Born: 27 November 1937, Mamaroneck, New York

Born Gail Meritt, she graduated from the University of Vermont in 1958, in 1960 she moved to New York City and married Albert Sheehy. (She divorced Sheehy in 1968, married Clay Felker in 1984.) She was fashion editor for Democrat and Chronicle, feature writer for the New York Herald Tribune, about three years each, and contributing editor to New York Magazine from 1968 to 1977. She received a fellowship to study with Margaret Mead at Columbia in 1970. In 1976 her fifth book, Passages, on the phases of adult life was a major success, remaining on the New York Times best-seller list for three years and named one of the most influential books of modern times by the Library of Congress. On the other hand, she was promptly sued for plagiarism by Roger Gould, a psychiatrist at UCLA, who received 10% of the royalties based as a result. In 1992 she wrote an article in Vanity Fair based on an interview with Hillary Clinton, quoting the first lady from parts of the interview that were off the record (according to both Clinton and VF's fact checker) and her 1999 biography of Clinton was also attacked for misquoting sources. An article critical of the 9/11 Commission that appeared in The New York Observer in 2004 was blasted for factual errors. For all of that, the public loves her work. She won the Penny-Missouri Journalism Award in 1986, has won the New York Newswomen's Club Front Page Award seven times, and is current contributor to Vanity Fair, a free lance writer, and a popular lecturer.

Biography from Wikipedia and eNotes

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