Writer and feminist activist Marilyn French was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 21, 1929. She studied philosophy and English literature at Hofstra College, earning a bachelor's degree in 1951 and a master's in 1964. Before earning her doctorate from Harvard University, she taught English at Hofstra from 1964 to 1968. She was an assistant professor of English at the College of the Holy Cross from 1972 to 1976. She wrote numerous books throughout her lifetime including The Women's Room (1977), The War against Women (1992), and Season in Hell: A Memoir (1998). She died of heart failure on May 2, 2009 at the age of 79.