Gloria Steinem with David Bale

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For years, Gloria was known for her anti-marriage stance. To her, marriage seemed like a death sentence. "I thought, especially growing up in the '50s, the idea was marriage was the only way you could change your life. Once you made that single decision, then everything was up to your husband and the needs of your children and so on," she says. "If you really believed that, then if it's your last life-changing thing. It does seem like death."

Then, at the age 66, Gloria shocked the world—and herself—when she married David Bale. "We were shocked that we fell in love and wanted to live together," Gloria says. "But the actual legal marriage part probably had more to do with the fact that he had been born in South Africa and lived in England, and he had visa problems. I thought about it, and I thought, 'Well, you know, ... I've fought for 30 years to make marriage laws equal, so why not?'"
FROM: Women Who Changed the World
Published on October 16, 2008