Marilyn Salzman Webb is an American author, activist, professor and journalist. She holds a PhD in educational psychology from the University of Chicago.
Webb pursued her undergraduate education at Brandeis University, graduating with a BA in 1964. Later she studied journalism at Columbia University and completed her MS degree in 1981. She had begun studies for her PhD in educational psychology at the University of Chicago in 1964, but abandoned her studies there with a master's degree in 1967 after allegedly being the victim of sexual harassment and assault by professors she had asked to serve on her dissertation committee. Fifty years later, she contacted administrators and re-enrolled as a doctoral candidate, graduating with her PhD in 2019.
After departing Chicago in 1967, she became an activist in the New Left, joining the Students for a Democratic Society. Facing harassment and chauvinism from the men within the leftist movement, notably including an incident where she and other women were booed off a protest stage, her activist focus shifted to second-wave feminism. In this period she co-founded the DC Women’s Liberation group’s governing structure, called a Magic Quilt. In 1970 she co-founded off our backs, a radical feminist periodical that continued publishing until 2008.
Years of research as an investigative journalist culminated in her book The Good Death, published in 1997, on medical and legal controversies surrounding end-of-life care in the US.
In 2001, she founded the journalism program at Knox College; she holds the title Distinguished Professor Emerita of Journalism. She had previously founded the women's studies program at Goddard College and taught in the journalism program at Columbia University.
In 2009, Webb ran for mayor of Galesburg, Illinois.
Webb is featured in the documentary She's Beautiful When She's Angry.