Lydon, Susan 1943-2005

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LYDON, Susan 1943-2005

(Susan Gordon Lydon)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born November 14, 1943, in New York, NY; died of cancer July 15, 2005, in Boca Raton, FL. Journalist, editor, and author. Lydon was a feminist journalist and cofounder of Rolling Stone magazine who first became famous for her groundbreaking article "The Politics of Orgasm." After graduating from Vassar College in 1965, she married journalist Michael Lydon and worked in England as a freelance writer for London Life. In 1967, she and her husband moved to San Francisco, where she wrote for Sunday Ramparts, a forerunner of Rolling Stone. Helping to establish the latter magazine and serving as its production manager and editor, Lydon quit in 1968 after encountering chauvinism among her bosses, but also because she wanted to care for her new baby daughter. While participating in discussions with a women's consciousness-raising group, she learned that many of these women had not experienced sexual fulfillment in their relationships, and she decided to write about this problem in an article that was initially rejected by the male editors at Ramparts. It was eventually published in 1970, however, and became required reading at many university programs in women's studies. After her marriage broke up, Lydon moved to Berkeley, California, and continued to work as a freelancer. However, she descended into a nightmarish world of drug addiction, from which she did not emerge again until 1986. She wrote about this harrowing experience in her autobiography, Take the Long Way Home: Memoirs of a Survivor (1993). Her last books, The Knitting Sutra: Craft as a Spiritual Practice (1997) and Knitting Heaven and Earth: Healing the Heart with Craft (2005), were inspired by her decision to take up knitting as physical therapy after accidentally breaking her arm. Most of her final years were spent as a columnist and editor for the Oakland Tribune, for which she worked until she had to take a medical leave in 2002.



Lydon, Susan, Take the Long Way Home: Memoirs of a Survivor, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1993.


Chicago Tribune, July 27, 2005, section 3, p. 10.

Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2005, p. B9.

New York Times, July 26, 2005, p. C16.

Times (London, England), August 4, 2005, p. 56.

Washington Post, July 26, 2005, p. B6.