Crystal Eastman

Lived:June 25, 1881—July 8, 1928 (aged 47)
Career:Lawyer, journalist, leader in the U.S. women's suffrage movement
Education:Vassar College
M.A., Columbia University
Law degree, New York University Law School

Crystal Catherine Eastman was an American lawyer, antimilitarist, feminist, socialist, and journalist. She was a leader in the women's suffrage movement, co-founder of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Eastman was born on June 25, 1881, in Marlborough, Massachusetts. She graduated from Vassar College in 1903, received an M.A. in sociology from Columbia University in 1904, and received a law degree from New York University Law School in 1907. Her first job was researching labor conditions in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the first in-depth sociological investigation of industrial accidents. In 1909, Eastman became the first woman to be appointed to New York's Employer's Liability Commission, and she drafted New York State's first workers' compensation law.

Eastman worked as an investigating attorney for the U.S. Commission on Industrial Relations during Woodrow Wilson's presidency. After moving to Milwaukee, she managed the unsuccessful 1912 Wisconsin suffrage campaign. The next year, she and several others founded the Congressional Union, which became the National Woman's Party. After passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, Eastman and three others wrote the Equal Rights Amendment, introduced in 1923.

In 1917, Eastman co-founded a radical journal of politics, art, and literature, The Liberator, with her brother Max Eastman, and was managing editor from 1917 to 1921. During World War I, she helped found the Woman's Peace Party and served as president of the New York branch. It was renamed the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom in 1921 and remains the oldest extant women's peace organization. Also during World War I, Eastman co-founded the National Civil Liberties Bureau, which grew into the American Civil Liberties Union.

Eastman died on July 8, 1928, of nephritis. In 2000, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York.