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Berg, Gertrude (03 October 1899–14 September 1966), actress, writer, and producer of radio and television programs, was born Gertrude Edelstein in the Harlem district of New York City, the daughter of Jacob Edelstein, a Catskills resort hotel owner, and Diana Netta Goldstein, a bookkeeper and hotel kitchen manager. She was educated in public schools and showed interest in acting as a child, performing comic skits at her father’s hotel. As a teenager, she took several extension courses in playwriting at Columbia University. In 1918 she married Lewis Berg, a mechanical engineer, whose work took the couple to a sugar refinery in Reserve, Louisiana. In 1921 they returned to New York, where they would live for the rest of their lives. The couple had two children....

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Hummert, Anne (19 January 1905–05 July 1996), radio producer and advertising executive, was born Anna Mary Schumacher and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, the oldest of four children of Frederick Schumacher, whom census records list as a steamfitter and a contractor, and Anna Lance Schumacher. At some point in her youth, she began using the name Anne rather than Anna. She loved to write and was attracted to journalism while still in high school, writing an advice column for the ...

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Nila Mack. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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Mack, Nila (24 October 1891–20 January 1953), radio writer-producer, was born Nila Mac in Arkansas City, Kansas, the daughter of Don Carlos Mac, a railroad engineer credited with the “first run over the tracks to Guthrie in Indian Territory” in 1889, and Margaret Bowen Mac, a dancing teacher. Her father's family name had apparently been MacLoughlin in a dim Scottish past; Nila was to add the “k” to her name when she entered show business. She attended the local high school, played piano for her mother's dancing school as well as at the local open-air theater, and “won 208 cakes in local cake-walking contests.” After her father died as a result of a train derailment in 1907, her mother took her to New York for Chautauqua classes and in 1908 enrolled her at Ferry Hall finishing school in Forest Park, Illinois....

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See Nelson, Ozzie

Article

Rountree, Martha J. (23 October 1911–23 August 1999), radio and television producer, talk show moderator, and cocreator of Meet the Press, radio and television producer, talk show moderator, and cocreator of Meet the Press, was born in Gainesville, Florida, but raised in Columbia, South Carolina, the second oldest of five children of Earl Rountree, a salesman (at times he sold real estate, and at other times he sold cars), and Mary Jane Tennant Rountree. From the time she was little, Martha was interested in writing. Her first short story was published by a local newspaper when she was only nine years old. But tragedy struck her family when she was sixteen: Her father died suddenly, and he did not leave any money to provide for his wife and children. Despite financial hardship, Martha Rountree managed to attend the University of South Carolina for several years before dropping out to pursue a career in journalism. She got some experience working for the ...

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Waller, Judith Cary (19 February 1889–28 October 1973), radio pioneer, was born in Oak Park, Illinois, to John Duke Waller, a surgeon, and Katherine Short. She was educated in Oak Park’s public schools.

Waller attended business college and worked for the advertising agency J. Walter Thompson, in both New York and Chicago. Her writing, editing, and general business experience at the agency led her into radio broadcasting when in 1922 a family friend, Walter Strong, business manager of the Chicago ...