Myra MacPherson is an award winning best selling author. THE SCARLET SISTERS: Sex Suffrage and Scandal in the Gilded Age, MacPherson's fifth book, demonstrates a return to the compelling issues of women's rights addressed in her first book The Power Lovers: The Effect of Politics on Political Families. Written during the 1970's feminist rebirth, it examined the political family façade for the first time and addressed the handful of women in politics. MacPherson met her second husband, the late Florida Senator Jack D. Gordon, while covering the Equal Rights Amendment battle and he was the sponsor of the ERA in that pivotal state. The granddaughter of a coal miner, raised in a town of 800, MacPherson never stopped marveling at the egalitarian world of journalism; a few years after graduating from college, she interviewed President Kennedy, for example. She wrote about murderers and serial killers, slain Civil Rights leaders and presidential campaigns, Hollywood celebrities and international leaders Fidel Castro and Nicaraguan President Violetta Chamorro, and the aftermath of the Panama raid to capture Manuel Noriega.
In the Mad Men era, she was banned from sports boxes because she was a woman, while covering the Indianapolis 500 and the Miracle Mets World Series victory in 1969. Ben Bradlee hired her for the revolutionary Style section of the Washington Post--which changed journalism on a nation-wide scale with its daily magazine approach to politics and art--while her in-depth profiles included the Watergate criminals. A Post series on Vietnam Veterans led to her groundbreaking classic and finalist in the Los Angeles Times Book Awards, Long Time Passing: Vietnam and the Haunted Generation, the first trade book to examine Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. More than a decade after its publication in 1985, Arnold R. Isaacs, noted authority on Vietnam, wrote: "Any approach to the subject of Vietnam's aftermath must begin with Myra MacPherson's ground breaking book. Her book, among the first to break the long national silence on the war, remains one of the most moving and important works on the Vietnam bookshelf." Joseph Heller, author of Catch-22 wrote: "MacPherson's book belongs with the best of the works on Vietnam, and there has been no better body of war literature that I know of."
Her 2006 award winning All Governments Lie: The Life and Times of Rebel Journalist I. F. Stone remains a timely study of politics and the media. It won the 2007 Sperber Award for Biography, was a finalist in the 2008 Pen-USA Literary Award and was named a Best Book of 2006 by the Boston Globe, Rocky Mountain News, and Book List.
MacPherson is on the board of the Hospice Foundation of America and her fourth book, She Came to Live Out Loud: An Inspiring Family Journey Through Illness Loss and Grief was hailed by caregivers. The former first lady Rosalynn Carter, coauthor of Helping Yourself Help Others: A Book for Caregivers said: "Through this very personal story about one woman's battle with breast cancer, Myra MacPherson weaves practical and inspiring lessons into an intimate portrayal of Anna and her family and friends. Those who have an illness and those who care for someone with an illness will benefit from Anna's energy and courage...Myra MacPherson's book is a powerful educational tool for a very difficult subject."
MacPherson is a Senior Fellow at the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata College, a member of Veterans for Peace and involved with Project ReNew Vietnam, which assists victims of Agent Orange and Land Mine Victims. Along with other journalists, MacPherson seeks to further excellence in reporters through her participation on the advisory board of the National Molly Award in honor of Molly Ivins and the Harvard Nieman Journalism Foundation I.F.Stone award for Journalistic Independence. Along with other writers MacPherson seeks to further excellence in young journalists through her participation on the advisory board of the National Molly Award in honor of Molly Ivins and the Harvard Nieman I. f. Stone Award for a Journalistic Independence.
Her son, Michael Siegel, is a political strategist in Washington, DC. Her daughter, Leah Siegel, an award-winning producer for ESPN, died of breast cancer in 2010.