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Bernays, Doris Fleischman, 1891- . Papers, 1914-1977: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America


Radcliffe College
March 1986

© 1986 Radcliffe College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: 1072--77M211
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: Doris (Fleischman) Bernays, 1892-1980
Title: Papers, 1914-1977
Quantity: 1.42 linear ft. (1 carton, 1 file box, 2 oversize folders)
Abstract: Correspondence, writings, photographs, etc., of Doris Fleischman Bernays, author, editor, feminist, and public relations consultant.

Processing Information:

Preliminary inventory: March 1986
By: Anne Engelhart

Acquisition Information:

Accession numbers: 1072, 1217, 70-10, 74-5, 77-M211
The papers of Doris (Fleischman) Bernays were given to the Schlesinger Library in 1966, October 1967, February 1970, January 1974, and December 1977.

Preferred citation for publication:

Doris Fleischman Bernays Papers, 1914-1977; item description, dates. 1072--77M211, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.


The daughter of Samuel and Harriet (Rosenthal) Fleischman, Doris Elsa (Fleischman) Bernays was born in New York City on July 18, 1892. She graduated from the Horace Mann School in 1909 and in 1913 received her bachelor's degree from Barnard College. Upon graduation she took a job as a reporter for the New York Tribune, where she served successively as assistant women's page editor and assistant Sunday editor. An ardent feminist, she wrote on many issues of concern to women and was a participant in the first Women's Peace Parade in New York in 1917.
In 1919 DFB left newspaper work to join her future husband, Edward L. Bernays, in his new public relations firm in New York. It was largely through their pioneering efforts that the principles, practices, and ethics of the new profession of public relations were established. The firm went on to advise many important men, women, and organizations, including Dwight Eisenhower, Sigmund Freud, and Henry Ford. DFB and ELB were married in 1922; they had two daughters. DFB set a precedent in 1923, when the U.S. State Department issued her the first passport to a married woman under her maiden name. She continued to use her maiden name until 1955, when she decided that the continually required explanation was too much of a nuisance.
DFB contributed articles to the Ladies' Home Journal, the American Mercury, the Saturday Reivew of Literature, McCall's, and other periodicals. She was the editor of An Outline of Careers for Women (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1919), and a contributor to America As Americans See It (1932) and to Varied Harvest (1953), an anthology of writings by Barnard College graduates. In 1955 she published her bestselling memoir, A Wife Is Many Women (New York: Crown).
DFB was the vice-president of the Edward L. Bernays Foundation, president of the Woman Pays Club, and vice-president of the Lucy Stone League. A member of Women in Communications (the National Society of Women in Journalism and Communications), she received its highest honor, the National Headliner Award, in 1972. In 1961 DFB and ELB moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where DFB died following a stroke on July 11, 1980.


This collection consists of DFB's correspondence, writings, source notes for A Wife Is Many Women, and background material on equal pay, household employment, and the status of women. The correspondence is largely professional; the bulk of it covers the genesis and development of AWIMW (1949-1955) and DFB's work with the Lucy Stone League (1950-1952), the Woman Pays Club (1956-1973), and Women in Communications (1971-1973). The writings include typescripts of stories and articles, clippings of articles and book reviews, and a portion of an unpublished science fiction novel.
Folder headings are the donor's; information in brackets has been added by the processor.
There is related material at the Schlesinger Library. See also Doris Fleischman Bernays Additional papers, 1915-1978 (86-M79).



Additional catalog entries

Beard, Mary (Ritter), 1876-1958
Bernays, Edward L., 1891-
Lucy Stone League
Miller, Frieda Segelke, 1889-1975
Simon, Caroline (Klein), 1900-
Woman Pays Club
Women in Communications
Barnard College
Equal pay for equal work
Married women--Legal status, laws, etc.
Public relations
Women--Legal status, laws, etc.


The following items have been removed from the collection: