Kay Nolte Smith

On this date in 1932, Kay Nolte Smith was born in Minnesota. She received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1952 and her Master's degree in theater and speech from the University of Utah in 1955. She married Prof. Philip Smith in 1958. She and her husband went into professional theatre together, co-producing Ayn Rand's "Penthouse Legend." She made TV commercials, performed off Broadway for a decade, joined several faculties as a teacher, then turned her energies to writing. Her first novel, Watcher (1980), won the Edgar Allen Poe award, followed by Mindspell (1983), Country of the Heart (1988), and Tale of the Wind (1991). Mindspell delved into the witchhunts. After her research for that book, Kay asserted that records of this heinous time should be "mandatory reading in every Sunday school. This is what made me an atheist. Consider how deeply witch craze was rooted in religion. The papal sanction was not abolished for six centuries. How can anyone belong to a church that treated its members this way?" (Feminist Connection interview, December 1983). D. 1993.

“The tragedy is that every brain cell devoted to belief in the supernatural is a brain cell one cannot use to make life richer or easier or happier.”

 

—Kay Nolte Smith, "Truth or Consequences," speech to the Freedom From Religion Foundation 1983 national convention.

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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