Ruth Millett Papers Edit


MS 129


  • 1927-1967, undated (Creation)


  • 15 Linear feet (Whole)

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  • Arrangement

    Arranged in three series: I. Personal Papers, 1927-1967 ; II. Newspaper clippings, 1930-1957 and undated ; and Series III. Slicks and newspapers, 1930-1967

  • Biographical / Historical

    Ruth Linwood Millett Lowry was born February 10, 1912 to Ralph and Alice Millett in Dallas, Texas. The family soon moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where Ralph Millett, was a columnist and editor of the Memphis Press-Scimitar. The Milletts were a close family, and Ruth and Ralph Jr. both pursued their father’s profession, journalism. Ruth graduated from the University of Iowa, worked briefly in Missouri, then moved to New York City where she began writing two syndicated columns, Ruth Millett Says . . . (later titled We, the Women) and Mind Your Manners, for the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA). She married Dr. Frederick Lowry and had twins Peter and Lynne. The family moved around the Midwest a bit before settling in Austin, Texas. Millett continued with her career as a columnist until her retirement in 1967. She died April 16, 1997 in Austin. Millett’s columns, which ran as often as six days a week in more than 450 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada, included interviews with celebrities, commentaries on the effects of World War II on American families, discussions of behavior of elected officials and first ladies, and advice on topics such as whether women should work outside the home and how children should be educated. Millett received thousands of letters from readers and was named one of the U.S.’s top ten most powerful women by Pageant magazine in 1953. She was also honored by the New York Newspaper Women’s Club, Theta Sigma Phi, a fraternity for women writers, and named the Austin American Statesman Career Woman of 1963.

  • Scope and Contents

    Correspondence, photographs, printed material, programs, invitations, announcements, speeches, writings, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, and newspaper slicks document Ruth Millett’s life and career from 1927 through her retirement in 1967. The bulk of the papers are clippings and full page reproductions of her columns, We, the Women, and Mind Your Manners, written for the Newspaper Enterprise Association syndication service from 1937-1967. We, the Women addressed women’s issues of the mid-twentieth century, from education and career, to homemaking, etiquette, personal relationships, and popular culture. Of note are Millett’s columns addressing the changes in women’s lives brought about by the Great Depression, World War II, and cultural movements of the 1950s and 1960s.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright has been transferred to Texas Christian University.

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Peter Lowry, 2014.

  • Preferred Citation

    Ruth Millett Papers. Special Collections, Mary Couts Burnett Library, Texas Christian University.

  • Physical Location

    TT E1 - 4