Washington, DC, May 6, 2010
Visionary. Beauty. Legend. Katharine Hepburn was all of these things and more, defying the Hollywood standards of femininity and paving the way for women’s rights advocates to come. Although many people are aware of these facets of Hepburn’s life, few people know that she was also a humanist. In fact,while Hepburn is famous for winning more Best Actress Oscars than any other actress, a lesser known fact is that she received the American Humanist Association’s Arts Award in 1985. Fearless in her craft and life, Katharine stood by her beliefs and values, expressing them with all the elegance and honesty she possessed on screen.
“I’m an Atheist and that’s it,” said Katharine to Ladies Home Journal in 1991. “I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other, and do what we can for other people.”
The American Humanist Association today applauded the announcement that on May 12, 2010, the United States Postal service will be issuing a Katharine Hepburn commemorative stamp to honor her life and work. “We’re very pleased to have one of our own commemorated by the US Postal Service,” said David Niose, president of the American Humanist Association. “Katharine Hepburn was outspoken about many of the values that humanists share. She was an outstanding activist and human being.”
In addition to speaking out about the separation of church and state, Hepburn was vocal about issues in many other arenas, including women’s rights. She devoted much of her time to community outreach organizations such as Planned Parenthood.
“She was a progressive in an age that embraced tradition and modesty, when women were often expected to smile and not make waves. She challenged such boundaries, and her charm, intelligence and compassion were used to move society forward,” said Niose. “She was a genuine pioneer worthy of this recognition.”
The American Humanist Association ( www.americanhumanist.org ) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 100 local chapters and affiliates across America.
Humanism is the idea that you can be good without a belief in a god.