Dorothy Myrtle Kay Fishbein, class of 1945

Dorothy Myrtle Kay Fishbein, class of 1945

Dorothy Myrtle Kay Fishbein was born in 1921 in Warwick, Rhode Island. She graduated from the Jeremiah E. Burke High School for Girls and attended Simmons College for one year before entering Pembroke in 1942. Dorothy owned and operated two children's clothing stores in Providence. She served as the Vice President and President of the class of 1945, and received the Brown Alumni Service Award in 2007. She passed away on February, 5, 2012, at age 89.

Dorothy begins this interview by describing her early life in Boston; how she came to be a student at Pembroke after beginning her college education at Simmons College; working in the children's goods store run by her family while attending Pembroke as a day student; her courses and professors; and the effects of World War II on campus and American culture more generally. 

In Part 2, she discusses her work as a retailer; her coursework at Pembroke; the camaraderie among students at Pembroke and her disappointment about the College's merger with Brown; traveling to New York as a retailer; shopping and salesmanship; and femininity and gender expectations in the 1940s and afterward.

Part 3 of the interview focuses on Fishbein's marriage and household life; the decision not to have children; opportunities to attend events and courses at Brown as an alumnae living in Providence; the Jewish community; and life after World War II.

Part 1
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Part 2
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Part 3
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Recorded on May 9, 1988

Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Interviewed by Leigh E. Hercher