Savary, Suzanne

Founder of the Newport Beach Women's Democratic Club; Congressional Candidate for the 48th District





Field Value
ID 54
Title An oral history with Suzanne Savary
Date 2016-02-02
OH ID OH 5807
Citation Suzanne Savary interviewed by Abby Waldrop, February 2, 2016, Balboa Island, California, Oral History #5807, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
Restricted false
Created At 2017-07-30 19:18:11 UTC
Location Balboa Island, CA
Language English
Subjects Family → Childhood Experiences
Family → Grandparents
Historic Periods → 1950s
Race Relations → Black-White Race Relations
Family → Values
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Family → Siblings
Gender and Sexuality → Gender Roles
Education → Higher Education
Sexism → Sexism in the Workplace
Family → Marriage
Family → Parenting → Motherhood
Women in the Workplace
Family → Courtship
Family → Childhood Experiences → children of immigrants or refugees
Family → Family Advocacy
Colleges → University of Southern California (USC)
Elected Officials → Congressional → U.S. House of Representatives → Loretta Sanchez
Health, Medicine, and Awareness → Hoag Hospital
Women's Health → Planned Parenthood
Gender and Sexuality → Feminism
Community Organizations → League of Women Voters (LWV)
Elections → Presidential Elections → John Kennedy, 1960
Gender and Sexuality → Women's Rights → Reproductive Rights
Family → Marriage → death of a spouse/partner
Elections → Presidential Elections → Election 2016 (Trump/Clinton)
Community Organizations → Women in Leadership (WIL)
Elected Officials → Congressional
Elections → Local Elections
Elections → Election Campaign Strategies


An oral history interview with Suzanne Savary, feminist, founder of the Newport Beach Democratic Club, and 2016 congressional candidate for the 48th District. The interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project for California State University, Fullerton’s Center for Oral and Public History. The purpose of this interview was to gather information regarding Savary’s involvement with the Newport Beach Democratic Club and as a lifelong feminist. Specifically, Savary shares stories from her parents World War II military backgrounds including her dad’s USMC assent to the top of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima and mom’s service in the WAVES; reminisces about how her parents met; talks about race and religious differences in the 1950s; shares the origins of her political ideology and how her parents influenced her sense of justice; talks about her families political involvement including when her dad for mayor in Babylon Village, New York, and her uncles, Bill and George O’Dwyer; describes gender expectations she experienced as the oldest child/daughter; speaks about her mother’s experience as a nurse and how this influenced her daughter’s professions; talks about her educational background including her PhD program in culture and communication at New York University with Neil Postman; explains why she wanted to move to Manhattan; recalls experiencing gender discrimination on post-PhD job search; talks about her involvement with the Women’s Movement and attending the Women’s Suffrage March at Bryant Park; shares how she was hired to teach at Hunter College and experience of working with Ota Reynolds; talks about challenge of studying for her masters while raising a family and how it felt to break through gender stereotypes in college; shares how she met her husband, Ken Savary, why they moved to Southern California, and experience of working with Carl Sagan and Milton Glaser on Cosmos television series with her husband; what it was like to find out California was not as progressive in the feminist movement and the role women played in their husband’s professional success; shares about her husband’s bone marrow cancer diagnosis and how she coped when he died; talks about teaching at USC’s MBA program; why Women’s Leadership Program was foiled by USC dean; explains why she founded the Newport Beach Women’s Democratic Club; talks about running for Congress in 2014 and 2016 against Dana Rohrabacher; shares what issues are important to her in the 48th district: empowering women and families, educational access, environmental responsibility, and embracing change; explains why she opposed the merger between St. Joseph Health and Hoag hospital and why these mergers challenge reproductive rights for women; describes personal leadership style; compares how men and women lead and shares political examples of local and national political officials/candidates; and finally, shares why she’s most proud of promoting proud, public Democrats in Orange County, California.


Field Value
File Name 5807_Savary.jpg
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 34829
Description> Suzanne Savary, 2016.