Kurt's Historic Sites

Kathy and Shana Alexander

Shana Alexander

Interment Location Visited  
Los Angeles, CA April 4, 2023  

Photographed April 4, 2023.

“I thought the trouble with women’s magazines is that they have been underestimating women all these years,” said writer Shana Alexander in 1969 when she became the editor of McCall’s, the largest women’s magazine in the United States. “I wasn’t even sure that I believed in the idea of a women’s magazine. I said I thought there should just be good magazines, period. Maybe I’m kind of a latter-day feminist, but I think that women can take much more grown-up material.” Alexander stayed with McCall’s for only two years, but she continued to spread her ideas to the public through other avenues, such as her television appearances on 60 Minutes. From 1975 to 1979, Alexander provided her liberal perspective in debates with the conservative James J. Kirkpatrick on the 60 Minutes segment, “Point-Counterpoint.” Alexander died in 2005 and is interred at Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles. Her grave is situated in the middle of this picture — the marker closest to the left side of the white bench.

Alexander is laid to rest with her daughter, who predeceased the journalist by 18 years. In February 1987, 25-year-old Kathy leaped to her death from the Park Avenue apartment building where she resided with her mother. On their shared grave marker, Kathy’s epitaph reads, “Valiant and Free.” Shana’s epitaph is, “The Feminine Eye.” This was the title of her Life magazine column, which she wrote from 1964 to 1969. Her other work included the memoir Happy Days, the title of which alludes to one of the most popular songs co-created by her father, composer Milton Ager. The songwriter and his wife, movie critic Cecelia Ager, are buried just a few yards south of Shana and Kathy Alexander.

Photographed April 4, 2023.

Fast Facts

Born: October 6, 1925 in New York, New York

Spouses: Unknown (m. circa 1944); Stephen Alexander (m.1954-1966)

Died: June 23, 2005 in Hermosa Beach, California

Cause of Death: Cancer

Age: 79

Interment: Westwood Village Memorial Park, Los Angeles, California

"But the real reason that I am against the polls is that I fiercely resent being told what I am going to do. I resent it not as a woman but as a human being. It makes me suspect I may be being programmed."
- Shana Alexander
on her dislike for election polling, detailed in her column "The Feminine Eye," published in Life, November 8, 1968

Sources Consulted and Further Reading

Alexander, Shana. “The Feminine Eye: Take your hand off my pulse!” Life 65, no. 19. https://books.google.com/books?id=71MEAAAAMBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false.

Alexander, Shana. Happy Days: My Mother, My Father, My Sister and Me. New York: Doubleday, 1995.

Associated Press. “Author Shana Alexander’s Daughter Jumps To Her Death.” February 6, 1987. https://apnews.com/article/b6846f7a9884fa0c5ef57115d823a812.

Foggy Melson. “Shana Alexander Interview (November 27, 1976).” YouTube video, 9:15. March 30, 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-YrQKGGQGE.

Kellog, Mary Alice. “Shana Alexander Takes On the Toughest Subject, Her Family.” New York Times. November 12, 1995. https://www.nytimes.com/1995/11/12/nyregion/shana-alexander-takes-on-the-toughest-subject-her-family.html.

Schudel, Matt. “Writer, TV Personality Shana Alexander Dies.” Washington Post. June 26, 2005. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/2005/06/26/writer-tv-personality-shana-alexander-dies/ca26dff3-c831-4f34-aadb-acde185cb006/.

Time. “The Press: The Feminine Eye.” April 25, 1969. https://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,840085,00.html.

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