Toni Carabillo, feminist leader and historian who chronicled the feminist movement and helped found the national Feminist Majority and the California chapters of the National Organization for Women, died Tuesday. She was 71.
Carabillo died in her sleep in her Los Angeles home of lung cancer. With her was her life partner of 30 years, Judith Meuli.
The two women, along with June Csida, wrote “Feminist Chronicles, 1953-1993,” a textbook for college women’s studies. Carabillo had been working on a new book, “The Feminist Chronicles of the 20th Century.”
A writer and graphic designer by profession, Carabillo also co-authored a 1988 book with Meuli, “The Feminization of Power.” The two women had owned a graphic arts company in Los Angeles since 1970.
In 1987, Carabillo, Meuli, Eleanor Smeal, Peg Yorkin and Katherine Spillar created the Feminist Majority, an organization designed to encourage women’s empowerment. Carabillo served as national vice president. She became involved in feminist causes 30 years ago when she joined NOW and then helped create chapters around California. She served as president of the Los Angeles chapter and national vice president and board member.
She also was co-editor of NOW’s national newsletter and newspaper.
Carabillo was a major fund raiser and organizer for the Equal Rights Amendment ratification campaign in the early 1980s.