Learning to See: A Novel of Dorothea Lange by Elise Hooper

Dorothea Lange‘s influential photography has been collected and displayed in museums and institutions everywhere, yet few know the story of how Dorothea Nutzhorn became Dorothea Lange, social justice activist and pioneering photojournalist. In Elise Hooper’s much anticipated second novel, Learning to See (William Morrow, 2019), Dorothea Lange and her legacy is reimagined in a riveting new light.

In 1918, a fearless 22-year-old arrives in San Francisco with nothing but a friend, her camera, and determination to make her own way as an independent woman. In no time, Dorothea goes from camera shop assistant to celebrated owner of the city’s most prestigious and stylish portrait studio.  Read More→

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In Search of Nellie Bly: Uncovering America’s Pioneering Investigative Journalist

Excerpted from Nellie Bly: Daredevil, Reporter, Feminist by Brooke Kroeger, the most comprehensive biography to date on the pioneering investigative journalist, born Elizabeth Jane Cochran (she later spelled her name Cochrane) on May 5, 1864, in Cochran’s Mills, Pennsylvania:

Nellie Bly was one of the most rousing characters in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the 1880s she pioneered the development of “detective” or “stunt” journalism, the acknowledged forerunner of full-scale investigative reporting.

While she was still in her early twenties, the example of her fearless success helped open the profession to coming generations of women journalists clamoring to write hard news. Read More→

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Ruth Gruber: Journalist, Documentary Photographer, Humanitarian

Ruth Gruber (1911 – 2016) led a life that was so incredible, it could have been a movie. And in fact, just one of the many courageous episodes in her 105-year life was made into a film. Ruth’s multi-faceted career as a journalist and documentary photographer isn’t as well known as it should be, and as with many women who were ahead of their time, deserves to be revisited and celebrated.

The daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Ruth was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She was a brilliant student with a passion for Jewish culture, and always loved to write.

At age fifteen she started college and was only twenty when she completed her doctorate in 1931 at the University of Cologne in Germany. That made her the world’s youngest Ph.D. at the time. Read More→

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Alice Allison Dunnigan, Trailblazing African-American Journalist

Alice Allison Dunnigan (April 27, 1906 –May 6,1983) was the first African- American female correspondent to receive White House credentials. She was also the first black female member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives press galleries. She covered Harry Truman’s 1948 presidential campaign, another first for an African-American female journalist.

A true trailblazer, Alice Dunnigan was known for her tough, forthright questions. Her gutsy approach led her from journalism into a position that spanned the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. It’s an exciting development that the Newseum in Washington, D.C. unveiled a life-size statue of her in 2018, honoring her contributions to American journalism. Following a brief exhibit at the Newseum, the statue will be moved to Alice’s hometown of Russellville, Ky., where it will be installed on the grounds of the West Kentucky African American Heritage Center, a venue dedicated to the civil rights movement. Read More→

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Dickey Chapelle: Photojournalist and War Correspondent

Dickey Chapelle (March 14, 1919 – November 4, 1965) was a pioneering American war correspondent and photojournalist who covered world conflicts from World War II to Vietnam.

Born Georgette Louise Meyer, she was fascinated by air travel throughout her childhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She renamed herself after the explorer Admiral Richard “Dickey” Bird.

Even as a child, Georgie Lou, as she was called, marched to her own drum. She was short and nearsighted, and always quirky and precocious. From a young age, she dreamed of flying planes. She was patriotic — always saluting the flag on her way to school. “I believed I could do anything I wanted to do, and I still believe it.” Read More→

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