Rita Mae Brown

portrait of Rita Mae Brown
Photo by Danielle A. Durkin
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Born: 28 November 1944, Hanover, Pennsylvania

Abandoned as an infant, Brown spent several years in an orphanage, and was later adopted by relatives. She attended Broward Community College and the University of Florida, she relates being thrown out over integration. She transferred to New York University for her degree in Classics and English, then earned a degree in cinematography from the New York School of Visual Arts, followed by two Ph.D. degrees, one in literature from Union Institute & University and one in political science from the Institute for Policy Studies at Washington City. She was active in the civil rights movement and the early gay liberation movement, publicly breaking with the NOW over it's attempts to distance itself from lesbian activists. She has written over a dozen novels, twenty mysteries, and a number of titles about horses, hounds, and fox hunting. Her best-known novel is her first, Rubyfruit Jungle (1973). Her main mystery series is "coauthored" with her cat, Sneaky Pie Brown, she has also started a second series around horses and foxing. She is an avid fox hunter, although she is quick to point out that American fox hunters chase, but don't kill, the fox. She gave up polo because she couldn't afford it and her animal rescue work, which has included several hundred cats and dogs and several horses. She also wrote Starting from Scratch (1988), an excellent book on writing.

Biography from Wikipedia and autobiography on her own site

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