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Heidi Toffler, Unsung Force Behind Futurist Books, Dies at 89

Category: Art & Culture,Books

She had by then changed her mind.

“The idea of having a byline didn’t really do anything for me,” she told The Times in 1993. “But each set of acknowledgments in each book was more effusive and fulsome. The feminist movement put a lot of pressure on me and said I was a very poor role model.

“And then men would come up and say, ‘We just wanted to tell you we think you have such a wonderful husband for giving you all that credit’ — implying that I wasn’t doing any work. That finally pushed me over the edge.”

She was credited as the co-author of two more books with her husband, “Creating a New Civilization: The Politics of the Third Wave” (1995) and “Revolutionary Wealth: How It Will Be Created and How It Will Change Our Lives” (2006).

Adelaide Elizabeth Farrell, an only child who acquired the nickname Heidi as a girl, was born on Aug. 1, 1929, and grew up in the Bronx, reared by her Dutch immigrant mother, Elizabeth Antonette Farrell, who worked for the telephone company, and her stepfather, William T. Farrell, who worked for the New York City subway system. Her mother and her biological father divorced when she was very young.

Known to be strong-minded, ferociously curious and adventurous, Heidi graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English.

In 1948, while visiting a friend in Washington Square in Manhattan, she was introduced to her future husband, who was a year older and a student at New York University from Brooklyn. Mr. Toffler asked her to join him that evening at a concert of works by Richard Wagner. She accepted, and they became inseparable.

An indifferent student, Alvin, by their account, nevertheless finished his course work at N.Y.U. at Heidi’s insistence and graduated, hoping to be a writer and to broaden his experience in the world. The couple decided to move to Cleveland, in the industrial heartland, and they were married there by a justice of the peace on April 29, 1950.


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