Killing Us Softly 3
Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D. (born January 4, 1943) is an author, speaker, and filmmaker who is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. In the late 1960s she began her exploration of the connection between advertising and several public health issues, including violence against women, eating disorders, and addiction, and launched a movement to promote media literacy as a way to prevent these problems. A radical and original idea at the time, this approach is now mainstream and an integral part of most prevention programs.
Today she continues to lecture internationally and her documentaries based on these lectures are widely viewed around the world. According to Susan Faludi, â€œJean Kilbourneâ€™s work is pioneering and crucial to the dialogue of one of the most underexplored, yet most powerful, realms of American cultureâ€”advertising. We owe her a great debt.â€
Kilbourne has spoken at about half of the colleges and universities in the U.S. She has twice received the Lecturer of the Year award from the National Association for Campus Activities and was once named one of the three most popular speakers on campuses by The New York Times Magazine. She is frequently a keynote speaker at a wide range of conferences, including those focusing on addictions and public health, violence against women, and media literacy.
She is a graduate of Wellesley College and holds a doctorate in education from Boston University, as well as an honorary doctorate from Westfield State College, for her â€œresearchâ€¦[and] insights [that] lead us from consumerism to consciousness.â€
Kilbourne has served as an advisor to two Surgeons General and in 1993 was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. She has been interviewed by many major news sources such as Time, Newsweek, and The New York Times, and has been featured on hundreds of television and radio programs including The Today Show, 20/20, All Things Considered, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.