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Lee, Norma | University of Houston Libraries

Name: Lee, Norma

Historical Note:

Norma Lee was a Houston Area feminist activist born June 1, 1936 in Beeville, TX to Nell and Marvin Lee. Norma was a graduate of Lamar High School and The University of Colorado at Boulder and received her Master's degree from the University of Houston. After teaching for the U.S. Department of defense in Germany and Okinawa, Norma spent 38 years as a school librarian for the Houston Independent School District (HISD).

Ms. Lee was very active in her community. She served as a National Organization of Women (NOW) member beginning in 1973, and she also assisted in various activities during the national meeting of NOW in 1974. In 1976, she ran for the position of Democratic Judge for Precinct 32 of the city of Houston and served in that capacity for many years. In addition, Norma was an avid proponent of the Equal Rights Amendment, a Lector, Acolyte, a member of the Altar Guild and New Women’s Group of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, a founding member of the Houston Episcopal Women's Caucus Chapter and a delegate from the St. Stephen's to the Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

Notably, Norma played a role in facilitating the International Women’s Year (IWY) National Women’s Conference of 1977, which was the first and only national women's conference to be sponsored by the federal government. From November 18 to 21, 1977, over 20,000 people gathered in Houston, Texas to celebrate International Women's Year and identify goals for women for the next decade. Prominent women such as Billie Jean King, Maya Angelou, and Betty Friedan were in attendance. First ladies Rosalyn Carter, Betty Ford and Lady Bird Johnson attended the event as well.

Ms. Lee passed away on March 28, 2001 and is survived by her partner of 32 years, Ann Robinson.

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