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A Tribute to Edith Windsor, More Details on Michael Cagney, Farewell to Nancy Gibbs

September 13, 2017, 11:53 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Disturbing new details about SoFi CEO Michael Cagney emerge, Anne Wojcicki’s 23andMe raises another quarter of a billion dollars, and we pay a tribute to gay rights activist Edith Windsor. Have a wonderful Wednesday.


 Thank you, Edie. Edith Windsor, the activist whose Supreme Court case struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, died yesterday at age 88.

The world-changing case began with a $600,000 inheritance tax bill, which Windsor would not have owed if her marriage to her wife, Thea Spyer, had been legally recognized. Thanks to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), it was not. Windsor sued.

In 2013, she prevailed and the Supreme Court ruled the relevant section of DOMA unconstitutional. The Windsor decision was limited to 13 states and Washington, D.C., but two years later, the Supreme Court held that same-sex couples had a constitutional right to marry anywhere in the U.S.

Windsor's plight—and her devotion to Spyer, who suffered from multiple sclerosis—moved and inspired her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan. In a 2013 interview with The New Yorker, Kaplan said, “The minute I met Edie and heard the story and saw, frankly, how beautiful she was and how articulate she was, I was, like, 'This is it: it couldn’t have been a better case.'" (Fortune ran an excerpt from Then Comes Marriage, Kaplan's fascinating book about the trial, in 2015)

After the ruling, Windsor embraced her newfound fame: “If you have to outlive a great love, I can’t think of a better way to do it than being everybody’s hero. Suddenly I’m exalted, instead of being this goofy old lady, which is what I feel like.”  Fortune


Goodbye, Gibbs! In a very different sort of farewell, Time magazine says goodbye to its iconic editor-in-chief, Nancy Gibbs. She is stepping down after 32 years at the brand—during which she wrote more cover stories than any other Time writer in history—and four years at its helm. Nancy, who is the magazine's first female EIC, was also the driving force behind Firsts, the recently-launched Time project spotlighting pioneering women. Watch her interview Kathryn Smith (the first female coach in the NFL), Carla Hayden (the first woman and first African American to be Librarian of Congress) and others at last night's launch event. Time

Cagney's cultural influence. While many of the sexual harassment issues at other tech companies stemmed from the actions of midlevel execs or investors, SoFi CEO Michael Cagney—who resigned yesterday—personally faces questions about his role in, as the lawsuit filed against the fintech startup puts it: "empowering other managers to engage in sexual conduct in the workplace." The married father of two allegedly sent sexually explicit texts to a former employee and bragged about his sexual conquests and the size of his genitalia at work gatherings. New York Times

 All in the genes. 23andMe, the genetic testing firm led by CEO Anne Wojcicki, has raised a $250 million round of funding led by Sequoia Capital, an influx that brings it to a reported valuation of about $1.75 billion. Fortune

 The gap gives. The latest Census data reveals that the gender wage gap has narrowed significantly for the first time since the 2008 recession. But don't get too excited: A full-time female worker now makes about 81 cents for every dollar a man makes—up almost a full percentage point from 79.6% in 2015.  WSJ

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Tina Tchen is joining Buckley Sandler LLP as a partner; she will lead the firm’s Chicago office. Tchen most recently served in the Obama administration as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Michelle Obama. Hope Hicks has been named White House Communications Director. Uber's chief legal officer Salle Yoo plans to step down from the company as soon as it hires a new general counsel. Nina Garcia, currently creative director at Marie Claire will become the new editor-in-chief of Elle. She replaces Robbie Myers, who's leaving after 17 years at the magazine. 


 What happened with What Happened. While the internet is awash with reviews of Hillary Clinton's book, this one from Jennifer Senior is my favorite. Senior doesn't shy away from criticizing Clinton, but she does conclude that What Happened is very much worth reading: "It is the story of what it was like to run for president of the United States as the female nominee of a major party, a first in American history. The apotheosis of Leaning In. Doesn’t this experience rate an account from Clinton herself? Especially when, after sticking her neck out, the only place some people could envision it was in a stockade?" New York Times

 Unbelievable, indeed. Clinton isn't the only one who dropped a book yesterday. Reporter Katy Tur also released Unbelievable, her new book about covering President Trump on the campaign trail—which includes her story of getting a surprise (and unwanted) kiss on the cheek from the then-candidate during a TV appearance. Fortune

 Natural disaster disaster. This disturbing story explains why natural disasters—like hurricanes Harvey and Irma—can worsen the risks for victims of domestic violence. New York Times

 Ingraham at 10? Laura Ingraham is reportedly negotiating a deal to take over the 10 p.m. time slot at Fox News. That would likely shift host Sean Hannity to the 9 p.m. slot, where he would go head-to-head MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, the current cable news ratings leader.  New York Times

 Gates gets answers. In this op-ed, Melinda Gates asks startup founders and VCs—including The Muse's Kathryn Minshew and Aspect Ventures' Theresia Gouw and Jennifer Fonstad—about what steps the tech industry can take to bring more funding to women-led companies.  Recode

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For the first time in history, North Carolina has 6 black female police chiefs  Huffington Post

A children's picture book of Hidden Figures is coming  Quartz

Right and left react to Betsy DeVos’s changes to campus sexual assault rules New York Times

Ellen Pao talks Kleiner, the trial, and her hopes for a tech reset  Axios


Married is a magic word.
Edith Windsor