Marion Meade

Marion Meade was born Marion Lolita Sidhu on January 7, 1934, in Pittsburgh. Her father, Surain Singh Sidhu, an Indian immigrant, was a physicist and professor who directed the X-ray laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh and later worked on top-secret research at the Argonne National Laboratory. Her mother, Mary (née Homoney) Sidhu, was a homemaker. Meade was the eldest of three children. Her younger siblings, Victor and Ellen, were twins. Meade studied journalism at Northwestern University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in 1955. That same year, she enrolled at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and earned a master’s degree in 1956. 

Meade is the author of The Last Days of Dorothy Parker (Penguin Books, 2014); Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: Writers Running Wild in the Twenties (Harcourt, Inc., 2004); and Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This? (Penguin Books, 1989). She is the editor of The Portable Dorothy Parker (Penguin Classics, 2006). She has also written biographies of Woody Allen, Buster Keaton, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Madame Blavatsky, and Victoria Woodhull, as well as two novels about medieval France. Her first book, Bitching (Prentice-Hall, 1973), was based on Meade’s experiences within the second-wave feminist movement, particularly her conversations with women about their experiences with gender and men. 

Before becoming a biographer, Meade started her career as a celebrity interviewer and fact-checker for the syndicated gossip columnist Earl Wilson, with whom she worked for a year in the late 1950s. Meade then went on to freelance for numerous publications, including McCall’s, Cosmopolitan, and The Village Voice. She served for many years as the editor of Aviation Week magazine. 

Meade died on December 29, 2022, at her home in Manhattan.