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Jean Stern



Jean Stern, an activist and educator, founded the Older Women's League, San Diego in 1981, which is among the nation's first. She was a pioneer feminist librarian at SDSU from 1968-87 and used her knowledge to further older women's health care rights, pension and Social Security, and other economic issues. After coming of age during the Depression, Stern earned degrees in history and teaching, worked with the Bureau of Labor Statistics and as a hospital library researcher. After three children and a family move to San Diego in 1968, she began working at San Diego State's library. Stern immediately researched and distributed information for San Diego's National Organization for Women (NOW). She became an expert on feminist literature and published annotated lists of non-sexist books and periodicals long before such information was available on computers.

Stern became known as a speaker on Social Security, pensions, employment benefits, healthcare and other issues relating to older women. After retiring from SDSU, she served on OWL's Legislative Committee and many Board committees. She has received recognition for educating the public and officials, most recently as recipient of SDSU Women's Studies Department's Helen Hawkins Feminist Activist Award. Jean Stern remains active in a variety of organization, yet she believes her work with Older Women's League is as relevant today as ever. As the national Baby Boomers age, women continue to be the large majority of the poorest seniors.

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