Doris was born in Nebraska and dedicated her life to women’s rights. She started out working as a regional organizer for the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and eventually found her way to the National Woman’s Party. In the film, Iron Jawed Angels, Doris was arrested for a “traffic violation” with several other suffragists. Afterwards, Alice Paul (Hilary Swank) asks one of the fictional characters of the film, Ben Weismann (Patrick Dempsey), how he can eat with Doris being in jail and he replies, “Doris is having the time of her life. Don’t worry. She’ll write a book about it.”
In real life, Doris was in fact arrested for picketing in front of the Whitehouse in 1917, but she was released 3 days later. Then, in 1920 Doris wrote a book and called it Jailed for Freedom, which is a real life account of the events portrayed on screen in the Iron Jawed Angels film.