Catharine Alice MacKinnon (born October 7, 1946) is an American feminist, scholar, lawyer, teacher and activist.
MacKinnon was born in Minnesota. Her mother is Elizabeth Valentine Davis; her father, George E. MacKinnon was a lawyer, congressman (1946 to 1949), and judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1969 to 1995). She also has two younger brothers.
MacKinnon became the third generation of her family to attend her mother's alma mater, Smith College. She graduated at the top 2% of her class at Smith and moved on to receive her J.D. and Ph.D. from Yale University. She was the recipient of a National Science Foundation fellowship while at Yale Law School.
MacKinnon was engaged to Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson for several years during the early 1990s, though the relationship subsequently ended. She has refused to discuss the relationship in later interviews.
MacKinnon is the Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. In 2007, she served as the Roscoe Pound Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.
MacKinnon is a highly cited legal scholar. She has frequently been a visiting professor at other universities and regularly appears in