OPPOSITE, FROM TOP: BEN STECHSCHULTE/REDUX;
L. COHEN/WIREIMAGE; THIS PAGE: PATRICK FRASER
LILLY LEDBETTER GREW UP in a world where doing chores meant long hours picking cotton—not always willingly—on her grandfather’s farm. “I fussed up and down every single
row,” she recalls now. “But I learned about doing a day’s work for fair pay.” She never
forgot that lesson. For 19 years Ledbetter worked as a night-shift supervisor for Goodyear
ed Supreme Court tossed out the decision in 2007. That ruling inspired Congress to step
in with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. “The young people getting out of school
think discrimination is a thing of the past,” says the indefatigable 71-year-old activist.
“But when they hear my story, they know. We’ve got a long way to go.” —D.D.