Margaret Fishback

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Margaret Fishback

Margaret Fishback, later Margaret Fishback Antolini (March 10, 1900 – September 25, 1985), was a relatively well-published American poet and prose author from the late 1920s until the 1960s. Born in Washington, DC, she earned a degree from Goucher College before joining Macy's as a divisional advertising copywriter in 1926.[1] During the 1930s she was reputed to be the world's highest-paid female advertising copywriter.[2] She was published in The New Yorker, the New York Herald Tribune, and several well-known women's magazines.[3] According to a large collection of her papers held by Duke's Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History, "Fishback contributed to advertising campaigns for Arrow Shirts, Borden's, Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, Clairol, DuPont, Gimbels, Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P), Hanes Hosiery, Martex, Norsk, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Seagram's, Simmons Beautyrest, and Wrigley, among several others."[4]

Fishback died in Camden, Maine, at the age of 85.[5] Fishback was married to Alberto Gastone Antolini, the chief rug buyer for Macy's, from 1935 to 1956. They had one son, Anthony Antolini.[6]


An extensive selection of Fishback's poetry first published in periodicals later appeared in book form. Among these collections were the following:

Fishback also wrote some books for children and collaborated with artist Hilary Knight to produce A Child's Book of Natural History (USA: Platt & Monk, 1969), a revision and extension of A Child's Primer of Natural History by Oliver Herford. She wrote a book of etiquette, Safe Conduct: When to Behave—And Why, and a humorous guide to parenthood under the title Look Who's a Mother! A Book About Babies for Parents, Expectant and Otherwise.

In Popular Culture[edit]

  • Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney, loosely based on the life of Margaret Fishback, was released by St. Martin's Press in 2017.


  1. ^ Rooney, Kathleen (Fall 2007). "Margaret Fishback Papers Depict an Illustrious Life" (PDF). Front and Center. Duke University. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  2. ^ Goodman, Stanley, "Poetry of life came through during Depression," The News of Delray Beach, October 14, 1985. (Accessed 24 February 2010)
  3. ^ Writings Series, Margaret Fishback Papers, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University.
  4. ^ The Margaret Fishback Papers, Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University. (Accessed 19 January 2009)
  5. ^ "Margaret Fishback". Poetry Foundation Website. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  6. ^ Biographical Data Subseries, Margaret Fishback Papers, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University.

External links[edit]