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Doris Fleeson
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    (May 20, 1901-August 1, 1970)
    Born in Sterling, Kansas
    Reporter for the New York Daily News, Boston Globe and Washington Evening Star
    Wrote a syndicated political column
    Column carried by over 100 newspapers in the early 1960s
    President of the Women’s National Press Club (1937)
    She wrote her first column with her husband, fellow Daily News reporter John O’Donnell, until they got divorced.
    She said, ‘I belonged to the ‘Who the hell reads the second paragraph’ school of journalism.’
    ’Newsweek’ described her with the dubious accolade, ‘the Capitol’s top news-hen.’
    At a White House event, Lady Bird Johnson said to her, ‘What a gorgeous dress, Doris. It makes you look just like a sweet, old-fashioned girl.’ At which point, the wife of Senator Stuart Symington interjected, ‘Yes, a sweet, old-fashioned girl with a shiv in her hand.’
    She was valedictorian of her high school.
    She covered World War II in Europe for ‘Women’s Home Companion.’
    She was the first woman to write a syndicated political column.
    She died just 36 hours after her second husband, former Secretary of the Navy Dan Kimball.
    Mary McGrory said, ‘She was my idol.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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