Chief Seattle Thelma Dewitty Thomas Foley Carrie Chapman Catt Anna Louise Strong Mark Tobey Helene Madison Home
Search Encyclopedia
Facebook
Advanced Search
Featured Eassy Sponsor of the Week Book Store Donate Now
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search
6852 HistoryLink.org essays now available      
Donate Subscribe

Shortcuts

Libraries
Cyberpedias Cyberpedias
Timeline Essays Timeline Essays
People's Histories People's Histories

Selected Collections
Cities & Towns Cities & Towns
County Thumbnails Counties
Biographies Biographies
Interactive Cybertours Interactive Cybertours
Slide Shows Slideshows
Public Ports Public Ports
Audio & Video Audio & Video

Research Shortcuts

Map Searches
Alphabetical Search
Timeline Date Search
Topic Search

Features

Book of the Fortnight
Audio/Video Enhanced
History Bookshelf
Klondike Gold Rush Database
Duvall Newspaper Index
Wellington Scrapbook

More History

Washington FAQs
Washington Milestones
Honor Rolls
Columbia Basin
Everett
Olympia
Seattle
Spokane
Tacoma
Walla Walla
Roads & Rails

Cyberpedia Library

< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Pailthorp, Michelle "Mickie" (1940-2002): activist and lawyer

HistoryLink.org Essay 7597 : Printer-Friendly Format

Michelle Pailthorp was a major force in Seattle Democratic politics, civil rights, and feminist causes over a span of 30 years, including the campaign for passage of the 1972 state referendum on the Equal Rights Amendment and Patty Murray’s 1992 election to the U.S. Senate.

Mickie Pailthorp was born in Chicago in 1940. She earned her bachelor of arts degree at Reed College in Oregon in 1962 and took a master's in history at the University of Pennsylvania. She met her husband Charles Pailthorp at Reed and they had three children, Aaron, Melissa, and Bellamy.

After a stint in Buffalo, New York, the family moved to the Olympia, Washington, area in 1970 when Charles Pailthorp accepted a teaching position at The Evergreen State College. The couple divorced a few years later, and Michelle relocated to Seattle with her children.

A Passion for Lost Causes and Poodles

While a faculty spouse at Evergreen, Michelle was barred from working for the university, so she joined the Seattle-based campaign for state ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, which succeeded in a 1972 referendum. She later represented the Washington State Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union in the state legislature, and was appointed a state delegate to the National Women’s Year convention in 1977. Michelle Pailthorp was one of the first influential Democrats to endorse Patty Murray’s 1992 challenge to incumbent U.S. Senator Brock Adams, who later declined to run for reelection amid a major sex scandal.

Pailthorp was also active in Washington Women Lawyers and the Washington Trial Lawyers association. In her practice, she was known as a tough advocate for her clients and for such “lost causes” as an attempt by the owner of the University District’s Freeway Hall to recover rent from his radical socialist tenants.

Pailthorp and life-partner Joel Connelly shared a home in Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood with two large and rambunctious standard poodles. Their annual Christmas parties became “must-attend” events for local public officials, candidates, and political journalists. Pailthorp and Connelly also established a vacation retreat on Whidbey Island, where she landscaped and tended a three-acre garden.

On July 30, 2002, Pailthorp died of a sudden brain aneurysm at her Seattle office.

Sources:
Joel Connelly, “In The Northwest: The Big Thing About Our Lives Is All the Little Things,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 2, 2002; Shiela Lalwani, “Michele Pailthorp, Champion of Women,” The Seattle Times, August 1, 2002; "Michelle Pailthorp, Activist Lawyer, Dies at Age 61," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 1, 2002; personal correspondence from Aaron Pailthorp, November 12, 2002, correcting erroneous press accounts of birth and death dates and amplifying biographical information.
Note: This biographical essay was revised and corrected on November 19, 2002.


< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Related Topics: Biographies |

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License


Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You




Michelle (Mickie) Pailthorp (1940-2002)
Courtesy Bellamy Pailthorp


Mickie Pailthorp (1940-2002) with daughter Bellamy, ca. 2000
Courtesy Bellamy Pailthorp


Mickie Pailthorp (1940-2002) with granddaughter Olivia Zilavy
Courtesy Bellamy Pailthorp


 
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search

HistoryLink.org is the first online encyclopedia of local and state history created expressly for the Internet. (SM)
HistoryLink.org is a free public and educational resource produced by History Ink, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt corporation.
Contact us by phone at 206.447.8140, by mail at Historylink, 1411 4th Ave. Suite 803, Seattle WA 98101 or email admin@historylink.org