From Ohio History Central
Marabel Morgan was a bestselling author and an anti-feminist during the 1970s.
Morgan was born in Crestline, Ohio, in 1937. Her father deserted the family when Marabel was just three years of age. Upon graduating from high school, Morgan worked in a beauty shop to earn the tuition to attend The Ohio State University. She stayed at Ohio State until she could no longer afford it and studied home economics. In 1960, she actually won election as the university's May Queen. Upon leaving Ohio State, Morgan went to work in a beauty parlor, and in 1964, she married Charlie Morgan, Jr., a student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
At first, her marriage seemed, according to Morgan, like a "Cinderella story," but by 1970, she was concerned whether her marriage would last. She spent many hours contemplating on how to make her marriage better. In the end, she decided that she could not change her husband; she needed to accept him and to change herself to make him and herself happy. Morgan once wrote, "It's only when a woman surrenders her life to her husband, reveres and worships him and is willing to serve him, that she becomes really beautiful to him. She becomes a priceless jewel, the glory of femininity, his queen!"
In 1971, Morgan began to sponsor Total Woman seminars, where she espoused her ideas on marriage. She became so popular that she held these seminars across the country and regularly appeared on the Phil Donahue Show. In 1974, Morgan published her ideas in a book, The Total Woman. This book was the leading bestseller in 1974, selling approximately four million copies. She followed this book with several others, including The Total Woman: Total Joy, Total Woman Cookbook, and The Electric Woman.
Many women protested Morgan's ideas. During the 1970s, the women's rights movement was gaining momentum, and many women rights activists viewed Morgan and her ideas as advocating the virtual enslavement of women to men. Whether she intended to do so or not, Morgan became equated with the anti-feminist movement.
Following a bout with thyroid cancer in 1987, Morgan went to work for New Magnetic Products, a health equipment company.