WASHINGTON, D.C. – Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) mourns the passing of Midge Decter, a former Board Member of IWF and later of its sister advocacy organization, Independent Women’s Voice (IWV). Midge was an author and intellectual who helped create the modern conservative movement, and a wise friend and source of guidance, encouragement and counsel to many in the movement. She died Monday in her New York home. She was 94.

Midge Decter is described in her New York Times obituary as “an architect of neoconservatism.” She was part of a group of New York intellectuals that included her husband Norman Podhoretz. Neocons were former leftists who rejected liberalism and went on to become leaders in formulating a new and dynamic conservative movement.

The Washington Post hailed Mrs. Decter as “an intellectual leader of the neoconservative movement whose acerbic, stylishly written essays and books assailed Soviet communism as well as American liberalism, denouncing feminism and other progressive movements.” She was a woman of intellectual heft and rigor, always clear thinking, practical, and wry, who could also get off a great one-liner.    

After Midge Decter finally admitted to herself that she had become a conservative, she famously quipped, “The time comes when you have to join the side you’re on.” We were so lucky to have Midge Decter on our side and among the band of dynamic and intellectually assertive women who helped make IWF and IWV what we are today. 

We send our heartfelt condolences to Midge Decter’s close-knit family and count ourselves fortunate to have known her. We are grateful to her for her contributions to American conservatism in general and to IWF/IWV in particular. 



Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.


Independent Women’s Voice fights for women by expanding support for policy solutions that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance freedom, opportunities, and well-being.