Rita Mae Brown (born November 28, 1944) is an American feminist writer, best known for her coming-of-age autobiographical novel, Rubyfruit Jungle. Brown was active in a number of civil rights campaigns, but tended to feud with their leaders over the marginalizing of lesbians within the feminist groups. Brown received the Pioneer Award for lifetime achievement at the Lambda Literary Awards in 2015.
Brown was born in 1944 in Hanover, Pennsylvania to an unmarried teenage mother and her mother's married boyfriend. Brown's birth mother left the newborn Brown at an orphanage. Her mother's cousin Julia Brown and her husband Ralph retrieved her from the orphanage, and raised her as their own in York, Pennsylvania, and later in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Julia and Ralph Brown were active Republicans in their local party.