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Virginia Warner Brodine ’37

Virginia Warner Brodine ’37, May 12, 2000, in Roslyn, Washington. She was a writer and lifelong activist in causes of political and social justice. She attended Reed for three years and later attended Cornish School of the Arts, in Seattle. While in Seattle, she worked in a variety of domestic and office jobs, an experience that encouraged her to join with others to organize the Household Employees League, under the auspices of the YWCA. In 1941, she married Russell Brodine, a musician, and they moved to Los Angeles. She worked as a reporter and columnist for the Daily People’s World during the war and published several short stories. During the McCarthy era, her husband’s political activities put him on studio blacklists, so they moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he obtained a position with the symphony. She worked as a copy editor for Mosby Publishing Company and was public relations director for the regional office of the Ladies Garment Workers Union for six years. She helped found the Committee for Environmental Information and in 1962–69 edited its monthly publication, Nuclear Information, which later became the magazine Environment. In 1978, she and her husband moved back to Washington, where they were active in the peace and nuclear freeze movements and in environmental protection efforts. She was the author of two books on environmental issues: Air Pollution and Radioactive Contamination, published in 1972 and 1975 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Her historical novel, Seed of the Fire, about Irish immigrants in the U.S. in the 1820s, was published in 1996 by International Publishers. At the time of her death, she was working on a second novel. Survivors include her husband, daughter Cynthia Brodine Snow ’65; a son, and three granddaughters.

Appeared in Reed magazine: August 2000

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