Visionary Marian de Forest overcame childhood hardship to become a respected journalist and playwright, and major force in the progressive women’s movement.
Upon graduating from Buffalo Seminary, de Forest became one of the first female reporters in Western New York State and quickly rose to become a drama critic and department editor.
In 1919, in Buffalo, NY, she founded Zonta (later Zonta International), a service organization of executives and professionals dedicated to improving the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women. Zonta International has more than 33,000 members in 65 countries worldwide.
De Forest was also a strong proponent of the arts. As a leading playwright, she supported women’s role in the theater and received numerous accolades, including induction into The Lyceum of London. De Forest’s love of music led her to co-found the Buffalo Musical Foundation, bring the American Opera Company to Western New York, and play a prominent role in the formation of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.