Lucy Komisar

Lucy Komisar is a New York City-based investigative journalist and drama critic.

Komisar was editor of the Mississippi Free Press in Jackson, Mississippi from 1962 to 1963. The weekly covered the civil rights movement and related political and labor issues and was read mainly by black people in Mississippi. (The newspapers and her other civil rights papers are archived at the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg.[1])


Komisar was a national Vice-President of the National Organization for Women from 1970 to 1971 and was successful, with Legislative VP Ann London Scott, in getting the US government to extend federal contractor and cable TV affirmative action rules to women. According to historian Robert O. Self, Komisar was aligned with Betty Friedan in 1970 in accusing lesbian feminists of threatening to take over NOW, particularly the New York City branch. The dispute led to the dismissal of branch staffers, which, in turn, resulted in a December 1970 press conference in which prominent straight feminists declared their support for lesbian feminists.[2]

Her NOW papers are in the Schlesinger archives at Harvard University.[3]

In 1977, Komisar became an associate of the Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press (WIFP).[4] WIFP is an American nonprofit publishing organization. The organization works to increase communication between women and connect the public with forms of women-based media..

Komisar exposed the practice of Sodexo, a major provider of food to schools, colleges, hospitals, companies and other institutions, of demanding and getting kickbacks from its suppliers. The article appeared in March 2009 in In These Times.[5]

In 2010, Komisar received the Gerald Loeb Award for Medium & Small Newspapers for "Keys to the Kingdom: How State Regulators Enabled a $7 Billion Ponzi Scheme"[6]


  • The New Feminism (New York: Franklin Watts, 1972; Paperback Library, 1972), primer on feminism, including history, law, work, education and origins of contemporary movement.
  • Down and Out in the U.S.A. A History of Public Welfare (New York: Franklin Watts, 1973 and 1977; New Viewpoints, 1973 and 1977), history of the American welfare system from colonial times to the present.
  • Corazon Aquino: The Story of a Revolution (New York: George Braziller, 1987), political biography of Corazon Aquino, former president of the Philippines. (Zurich: Benziger Verlag, 1988; Manila: The National Bookstore, 1988)


  1. ^ "M395 Komisar (Lucy) Civil Rights Collection". Archived from the original on 2008-06-22. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  2. ^ Self, Robert O. (2012). All In the Family: The Realignment of American Democracy Since the 1960s (First ed.). New York: Hill and Wang. pp. 180–181. ISBN 978-0-8090-9502-5. OCLC 768728945.
  3. ^ Papers of NOW Officers. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.
  4. ^ "Associates | The Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press". Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  5. ^ Komisar, Lucy (9 March 2009). "Cafeteria Kickbacks: How food-service providers like Sodexo bilk millions from taxpayers". In These Times. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Early Loeb winners: NYT's Sorkin and Pogue". Talking Biz News. June 29, 2010. Retrieved February 3, 2019.

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