In Memoriam: Leslie Rosenberg Wolfe, 1943-2017

Leslie R. Wolfe, the long-time director of the Center for Women Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., died late last month at a hospice center in Rockville, Maryland. She was 74 years old.

Dr. Wolfe was perhaps best known for her 1989 report that exposed gender bias in the SAT college entrance examination that allegedly caused women to score lower on the test than men. Her research also showed that women routinely did better in college than the SAT predicted. She also showed that the bias against women test takers resulted in a gender gap in the awarding of National Merit Scholarships, the winners of which are determined by results on the PSAT test.

Dr. Wolfe was a native of Washington, D.C. She was a graduate of the University of Illinois. She held a master’s degree from the University of Maryland and earned a Ph.D. in English at the University of Florida.

In a long career as an advocate for women’s rights, Dr. Wolfe worked in the Women’s Rights Program of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, in the Women’s Equity Act program at what is now the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Project on Equal Education Rights at the National Organization for Women’s Legal Defense Fund. She became director of the Center for Women Policy Studies in 1987 and remained in that post until her retirement in 2015, when the center closed. The papers of the Center for Women Policy Studies are held in the Duke University archives.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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