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Beatty, Bessie (27 January 1886–06 April 1947), radio broadcaster, journalist, and author, was born Elizabeth M. Beatty in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Thomas Edward Beatty and Jane Mary Boxwell. Her parents had immigrated from Ireland to the Midwest and then to Los Angeles, where Thomas Beatty became a director of the first electric street railroad in the city. In 1903 Bessie Beatty matriculated at the Highland Park campus of Occidental College, determined to be a writer. She was active in campus literary societies and wrote several articles for student publications before taking a position in her senior year as a reporter for the ...

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Joyce Brothers. Dr. Joyce Brothers, half-length portrait, facing slightly left, holding a book she wrote, 1957. Photographic print by Phyllis Twacht. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-117953).

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Brothers, Joyce (20 October 1927–13 May 2013), psychologist, television and radio personality, and columnist, was born Joyce Diane Bauer in Brooklyn, New York, to Morris K. Bauer and Estelle Rappaport Bauer, a Jewish couple who shared a law practice. She and sister, Elaine, were raised in Queens, where Joyce was an honors student at Far Rockaway High School....

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Ephron, Nora (19 May 1941–26 June 2012), screenwriter, film director, journalist, and humorist, was born on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and grew up in Beverly Hills, California. Her parents, Henry Ephron and the former Phoebe Wolkind, were a successful screenwriting team best known for scripting such light-hearted fare as ...

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Field, Kate (01 October 1838–19 May 1896), journalist, actress, and editor, was born Mary Katherine Keemle Field in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Joseph M. Field, an actor, journalist, and theater manager, and Eliza Riddle, an actress. After early schooling in St. Louis, at the age of sixteen Field went to Boston to visit her mother’s sister Cordelia, the wife of a millionaire, Milton L. Sanford. Sanford sent her to Lasell Seminary, Auburndale, Massachusetts (1854–1856), and introduced her to the world of the socially elite....

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Frederick, Pauline Annabel (13 February 1908–09 May 1990), journalist, was born in Gallitzin, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Matthew Phillip Frederick, a postmaster, and Susan Catharine Stanley. The family later settled in Harrisburg, where her father worked for the state in jobs ranging from factory inspector to director of the Bureau of Industrial Relations....

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Holt, Claire (23 August 1901–29 May 1970), Indonesian specialist and journalist, was born Claire Bagg in Riga, Latvia, the daughter of Boris Bagg, a successful leather dealer and manufacturer, and Cecile Hodes. In 1914 the family moved to Moscow, where Claire attended Gymnasiums from 1914 to 1918. In 1920 she married Bernard Hopfenberg, and in 1921 the couple emigrated to the United States. They settled in New York, and Claire gave birth to a son in 1927. Her husband died in 1928....

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Hedda Hopper Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-97336).

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Hopper, Hedda (02 May 1885–01 February 1966), actress and gossip columnist, was born Elda Furry in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, the daughter of David E. Furry, a butcher, and Margaret Miller. The fifth of nine children, Hopper attended school until the eighth grade, after which she stayed home to help her mother with the household. She had an early driving desire to be on the stage, spurred by seeing ...

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Isaacs, Edith Juliet Rich (27 March 1878–10 January 1956), editor and theatre critic, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the daughter of Adolph Walter Rich and Rosa Sidenberg. Her father, a Hungarian immigrant, owned a shoe factory. Isaacs graduated from Milwaukee-Downer College (now a part of Lawrence University) in 1897, with a bachelor of arts in English composition. She was literary editor for the ...

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Kilgallen, Dorothy (03 July 1913–08 November 1965), journalist and radio and television personality, was born Dorothy Mae Kilgallen in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of James Lawrence Kilgallen, a journalist, and Mae Jane Ahern, a singer. Her father’s work took the family to Laramie, Wyoming, then to Indianapolis, Indiana, and back to Chicago, where he began a long association with the Hearst newspaper syndicate. Dorothy attended grade schools in Indianapolis and Chicago. When the family moved to Brooklyn, New York, she continued school there and graduated from high school in 1930. After her freshman year at the College of New Rochelle, she accepted a summer job in 1931 as a cub reporter for the ...

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Parsons, Louella Oettinger (06 August 1881–09 December 1972), journalist, was born in Freeport, Illinois, the daughter of Joshua Oettinger and Helen Wilcox, clothiers. (Some sources give her mother’s maiden name as Stine.) Her father died when she was eight. Her career of writing for newspapers was launched early when the Freeport ...

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Savitch, Jessica (01 February 1948–23 October 1983), journalist, was born Jessica Beth Savitch in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, the daughter of David Savitch, a clothing merchant, and Florence Spadoni, a registered nurse. The eldest of the couple’s three daughters, Savitch attributed her interest in journalism to her father, who insisted that dinner-table conversation be focused on current events and issues. His death, when Savitch was twelve years old, would be the first of several tragedies shaping her life. The changed financial situation of the family forced Florence Savitch to return to nursing and was a major factor years later in Savitch’s decision to attend Ithaca College, the least expensive of the schools she wanted to attend. She completed a degree in communications in 1968....