As Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas became more involved with the Illinois Woman’s Press Association and the National Federation of Press Women she became intrigued by the women who created both organizations.
When NFPW celebrated its 75th anniversary, Marianne researched further about the history. It wasn’t until her husband was diagnosed with a brain cancer, ironically, that the history of NFPW came to life.
“Early into his recovery period, I needed to find something to clear my mind,” Marianne said. “During those hours when he was resting or asleep, I would find myself going through the boxes of material I had stored.”
Without even realizing it, Marianne was beginning to pull together the capsules of information for her book, Leadership 1937-2013.
“The leadership of NFPW has been amazing! Each woman brought something unique and exceptional to the federation. Each had her own style. Each had her own struggles to deal with,” Marianne said. “Collectively they grew a dynamic energy and resolve to the history of women in this country.”
“For me, it’s important for the membership of NFPW to know who came before them,” Marianne added. “More importantly, these first forty remain an important chapter in the history of women journalists and writers.”
History has always been important to Marianne. “History remains important to me because it helps me to understand the how, why and what ifs of my own personal life. It also gives me a greater appreciation for what took place before me.”
The book was published by Dreamers Tapestry, which is owned by fellow IWPA/NFPW members Susan and Art Brauer. “One of the best results of being a member of IWPA and NFPW is the networking,” Marianne said. Once she had her “aha” moment about reaching out to the Brauers the plan to publish came together.
During the fall conference in Utah, Marianne surprised attendees by presenting a copy of her book to each of the NFPW presidents at the Saturday night banquet. She also presented everyone else in attendance with a copy. Her husband Jonas was beside her beaming with pride at what Marianne had accomplished.
Editor’s Note: Copies of the book are available for purchase through the Illinois Woman’s Press Association website . A portion of the proceeds are split between the Education Funds of NFPW and IWPA.