She was born in England, came to the United States when a girl, and at an early age became a contributor to newspapers and magazines. She called the first congresses of women in 1856 and 1869, organized Sorosis in 1868, founded the New York Woman's Press Club in 1889, and in 1892 became professor of journalism and literature in the Rutgers Women's College. She was the editor of Demorest's Magazine from 1860 to 1887, and later was editor of the Cycle (which she founded) and the Home-Maker. She was married on St. Valentine's Day 14 February, 1856 to David G. Croly. They had a son, Herbert Croly.