Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R-Syosset) announced today that author Rita Cleary of Locust Valley, was honored at a June 20th Albany Reception as the Fifth Senate District 2006 "Woman of Distinction."
Ms. Cleary earned a B.A. in French literature from Manhattenville College and an M.A.T. from Harvard University, and taught French at Garden City Senior High School. An aspiring author she published her first book, Sorrel, in 1993. Her son Jim, who has muscular dystrophy and is permanently in a wheelchair, was the inspiration for the character Joey.
Since Sorrel, Ms. Cleary has written Gold Town, a post civil war novel and Spies and Tories, about the Revolutionary War. Ms. Cleary’s work was discovered by the Golden West Literacy Agency. Her Lewis and Clark series is represented by Golden West, and Five Star has also published two of her short stories in anthologies entitled The First Five Star Western Corral and No Place for a Lady.
Ms. Cleary has had articles published in True West magazine and We Proceeded On, the journal of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation. Her work entitled Charbonneau Reconsidered, has been cited by noted university historians. She also writes a bimonthly column for Roundup Magazine of Western Writers of America. Ms. Cleary developed an early love of American History from her father, who collected books about the American West and rewarded good school work with horseback riding lessons.
"Rita’s success story is one that we can proudly share with our daughters, sisters and neighbors and who will serve as an example for achievement and excellence for our entire community. Her name now joins those of other women whose accomplishments are deserving of a special honor," said Senator Marcellino.
Her photograph and biography is on display in a special public exhibit at the Legislative Office Building. The exhibit and reception were arranged to celebrate the many women who have contributed to New York’s political, social and economic development. The Women of Distinction program was inaugurated in 1998.