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Sheila Michaels, Who Helped Bring Honorific 'Ms.' To The Masses, Dies At 78

Michaels did not coin "Ms.," but she played a key role in its adoption. She was inspired by a letter to her roommate Mary Hamilton — who, separately, won a battle for the right to be called "Miss."

Sheila Michaels, who played a key role in bringing the title "Ms." from obscurity into mainstream use, has died at 78, according to the New York Times.

Michaels' lasting impression on the English language was inspired by a letter to Mary Hamilton — a woman who, separately, made legal history by successfully demanding to be called "Miss."

They were roommates and lifelong friends: The black woman who fought to be called "Miss" instead of condescended to as "Mary," and the white woman who pushed to be called "Ms." because it was nobody's business if she was married.

Michaels passed away on June 22 from leukemia, according to the Times. Hamilton died in 2002 of ovarian cancer.

Ms, Miss, Neither

Ms. Sheila Michaels was born in St. Louis. She didn't know her

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