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.