|Born||Mavis Elizabeth Nicholson
September 5, 1946
San Francisco, California, United States
|Spouse(s)||Jay Leno (m. 1980)|
Mavis Elizabeth Nicholson Leno (born September 5, 1946) is an American philanthropist, feminist and wife of Jay Leno, the former host of the The Tonight Show. They have been married since 1980 and have no children.
A leading feminist in California, as well as in the United States and internationally, she keeps a low profile in comparison to her husband, choosing instead to work behind the scenes of the non-profit, politically charged groups she supports and runs.
Mavis Leno has been the chair of the Feminist Majority Foundation's Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan since 1997. In 1999, she and her husband donated $100,000 to the organization, to further the cause of educating the public about the plight of Afghan women under the Taliban. The organization successfully protested the construction of an oil pipeline through Afghanistan, which could potentially have brought in billions of dollars to the Taliban. According to Melissa Rossi, Mavis Leno was a driving force in changing the opinion of U.S. President Bill Clinton and the executives of the now defunct oil company Unocal Corporation concerning the Taliban, after Leno had shed light on the group's treatment of women.
- CA Births 1905-1995
- "Mavis Leno: Lives of Afghan Women". CNN. November 9, 2001.
- "Jay Leno". Who's Who in America. Marquis.
- "About Campaign". Feminist Majority Foundation.
- "Hollywood's Latest Cause: Can A Pack Of Celebrities Save Afghanistan's Women?". Newsweek. December 6, 1999.
- "So Many Causes, So Little Time.". Newsweek. February 21, 2000.
- Sylvester, Sherri (November 21, 2001). "Jay and Mavis Leno Stay Active in War Effort". Showbiz Today. CNN.
- Mills, Kimberly (April 10, 2002). "Mavis Leno voice for silenced women". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
- Rossi, Melissa L. (2003). What Every American Should Know About the Rest of the World: Your Guide to Today's Hot Spots, Hot Shots and Incendiary Issues. Plume. ISBN 0-452-28405-8.
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