(March 7, 1893-May 1, 1968)
Born in East Troy, Wisconsin
Reporter for the Milwaukee Sentinel, Minneapolis Tribune, New York Daily Mirror and Associated Press
Investigator for the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (1933-36)
Wrote ‘The Story of Franklin Roosevelt’ (1956), ‘The Story of Helen Keller’ (1958) and ‘The Story of Eleanor Roosevelt’ (1959);
With Eleanor Roosevelt wrote ‘Ladies of Courage’ (1954)
Why she might be annoying
She flunked out of Lawrence College in her first year.
She later dropped out of the University of Minnesota when she was required to live in a female dorm.
She is remembered less for her reporting than for speculation about just how ‘close’ her friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was.
While covering the 1932 election campaign, she let Eleanor preview her stories and suppressed at least one at her request.
While working with FERA, she became increasingly antagonistic to reporters.
She donated her correspondence with Eleanor to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library on the condition that the letters remained sealed until ten years after her death.
Why she might not be annoying
Her father beat her and her siblings.
Her father’s inability to hold a steady job forced the family to move repeatedly, disrupting her education.
She became one of the first female reporters to cover men’s sports when the Minneapolis Tribune sent her to report on football games.
She was the first woman to have her byline appear on a story in the New York Times.
She encouraged Eleanor to write a newspaper column.
When her vision deteriorated late in life, she moved into a cottage on the Roosevelt Estate at Hyde Park, New York.
Credit: C. Fishel
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