Janet Flanner (March 13, 1892 – November 7, 1978) was an American writer and journalist who spent much of her career writing as Paris correspondent for The New Yorker. Under the pen name Gênet, she authored the magazine’s “Letter from Paris” for almost fifty years.
She was a prominent member of the expatriate community that settled in Paris between two World Wars, and made her home there until 1975, after which she returned to New York. Portrait at right, Janet Flanner in 1940 (National Portrait Gallery).
Jasmin Darznik, author of The Bohemians, a novel of Dorothea Lange’s early career (Ballantine Books, 2021), presents 10 fascinating facts about this trailblazing American documentary photographer of the early 20th century:
Though she is most known for her iconic Depression-era photograph “Migrant Mother,” Dorothea Lange’s photographs put a face to nearly every major historical event of the twentieth century, including World War II and the Japanese American internment camps.
Her photographs are infused with a deep and abiding dedication to documenting the lives of the have-nots in our country—those banished to the fringes by poverty, hardship, forced migration, and discrimination. She also dedicated herself to documenting environmental degradation, as in her series Death of a Valley. Read More→
Margaret Fuller (born Sarah Margaret Fuller; later Margaret Fuller Ossoli; 1810 – 1850) was a well-known figure in her lifetime as a women’s rights advocate, abolitionist, editor, and journalist. For a time, she was considered the best-read person in New England and became the first woman to gain access to Harvard’s library.
In 1844, Margaret joined the New York Herald Tribune as America’s first full-time book reviewer. In 1846, she became the Tribune’s first woman editor and first female foreign correspondent. After spending four tumultuous and productive years in Europe, Fuller died tragically in a ship accident upon returning to America, leaving a legacy that was controversial as it was unique.
A staunch advocate of women’s rights (especially in the areas of education and employment), she was also active in the areas of prison reform and was an abolitionist before the Civil War. Many reformers who came after her, including Susan B. Anthony, cited Margaret Fuller as an inspiration. Read More→
Katharine Graham (June 16, 1917 – July 17, 2001) is best remembered for her role as publisher and CEO of The Washington Post. She oversaw the newspaper’s involvement in the Pentagon Papers controversy and its investigation of the Watergate scandal that led to President Nixon’s resignation in late 1974.
Born in New York City, Katharine Meyer was one of five children raised in a family of great wealth. Her father, Eugene Meyer, was a multimillionaire and businessman who was Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve from 1930 – 1933. Her mother, Agnes Ernst Meyer, was a politically active educator. Read More→
Ida B. Wells (1862 – 1931), also known as Ida B. Wells-Barnett, was a fearless journalist and crusader in the early civil rights movement. She was a feminist, editor, sociologist, and one of the founders of the NAACP.
She was best known for spearheading a national antilynching campaign, through which she worked tirelessly to end the uniquely American practice of the public mob murders of African-Americans. Wells’s reputation has continued to grow after her death.
There have been journalism awards established in her name as well as scholarships endowed in her honor, and there is even a museum celebrating her legacy in her hometown in Mississippi. Read More→