Nickel and Dimed Author Barbara Ehrenreich Dead at 81

Photo: Patrick van Katwijk/WireImage

Barbara Ehrenreich, author and political activist, has died at the age of 81, her son confirmed on Twitter Friday afternoon. Her most popular book, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, focused on the injustices of low-wage workers in the United States. She went undercover at various minimum wage jobs and found it almost impossible to support one person on that salary. Ehrenreich wrote over 20 books during her life that examined social justice issues like women’s rights, health care, and the labor movement. “She was, she made clear, ready to go,” tweeted her son, Ben Ehrenreich. “She was never much for thoughts and prayers, but you can honor her memory by loving one another, and by fighting like hell.”

She worked with countless organizations that centered on human rights causes. Barbara founded United Professionals in 2006, a nonprofit organization for white-collar workers. Just a few years later, she co-founded the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, a foundation supporting independent journalism by supporting writers in 2012. She is survived by her two children, Ben Ehrenreich and Rosa Brooks.

Author and Activist Barbara Ehrenreich Dead at 81