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CBS (ended 1967)

DOROTHY KILGALLEN Forum

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    astorino

    [1]Nov 8, 2005
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    It was here a minute ago, but now it's gone. Evidently, an annonymous TV.com moderator deleted the entire thread due to the name-calling that had erupted between two members. The moderator should have only deleted the individual posts, but instead, deleted the entire thread.
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    W-B

    [2]Nov 8, 2005
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    Now, then: The major consensus amongst WML? fans is that between 1958 and 1960 (or thereabouts), Dorothy had a "sparkling" or "glowing" quality to her on the show (and I'd have to second that). Given that she was pegged "The girl you love to hate" (or words to that effect), I'm wondering if that tag had more to do with her sometimes controversial newspaper columns, or with her last years on the show when her substance abuse issues took their toll on her appearance, and probably her demeanor.
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    astorino

    [4]Nov 8, 2005
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    DOROTHY DIED 40 YEARS AGO TODAY

    From: maryclaire98

    The New York Journal-American (November 8th 1965)

    Dorothy Kilgallen, famed columnist of the Journal-American, died today at her home, 45 E. 68th St. She was 52.

    Miss Kilgallen died in her sleep. She was found by a maid and a hairdresser who came to the home to keep a 12:15 p.m. appointment. Alongside her bed was a book which she apparently had been reading before falling asleep.

    She had written her last column, which appears in today's editions, early in the morning and had sent it to The Journal-American offices by messenger at 2:30 am.

    Miss Kilgallen's husband, actor and producer Richard Kollmar, and their youngest child, Kerry, were sleeping in other rooms when she died.

    A member for years of the panel on the nationwide CBS TV show "What's My Line," Miss Kilgallen appeared with the panel last night.

    She was at her usual best, asking probing questions and guessing the occupation of two of the five persons who appeared on the show.

    "She was in excellent spirits and, as usual, right on the ball," said John Daly, moderator of the show.
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    Fat-tote-bag

    [5]Nov 8, 2005
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    That hairdresser has a name even though he doesn't chat online. He is Marc Sinclaire, and he says newspapers got the time wrong. He used his key to enter the Kollmar house at 8:45 a.m. The appointment he had set up with Dorothy was at 9. She had to be at her son Kerry's school for a teacher conference at 10:30. Just because these facts aren't online doesn't mean you can't find them.

    Edited on 07/12/2006 3:43am
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    lovewml

    [6]Nov 8, 2005
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    W-B wrote:
    Now, then: The major consensus amongst WML? fans is that between 1958 and 1960 (or thereabouts), Dorothy had a "sparkling" or "glowing" quality to her on the show (and I'd have to second that). Given that she was pegged "The girl you love to hate" (or words to that effect), I'm wondering if that tag had more to do with her sometimes controversial newspaper columns, or with her last years on the show when her substance abuse issues took their toll on her appearance, and probably her demeanor.


    Wasn't it Franklin Heller, WML's director, that said DK was the one everyone loved to hate? I find it hard to believe based only on her appearance on WML. She did say some pretty outrageous thinks in her column from what I've heard, but it's been said that people who were hesitant in meeting her on a personal level because of some insensitive comments in her column, were pleasantly surprised how charming and friendly she really was in person. I think her column gave her an outlet for another facet of her personality, and she was probably encouraged to be controversial to sell newspapers. She could be cold and insensitive, or sweet & charming just like everyone else. Most people think I'm a nice guy, but I can also be an arrogant prick. hehehe! But IMO when her appearance and health took a sharp, steady decline around 1962, her personality on WML was actually more friendlier and she was just as sharp at the game for the most part. So I really don't understand that quote. I think there may be a male chauvinistic perception that she was a hard, unfriendly woman because she was outspoken in an age when it was controversial for women to be that way.
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    W-B

    [7]Nov 8, 2005
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    Hmmm. Thanks for the clarification. But then, I haven't seen her later episodes in awhile - not since I first got into WML? in mid-'04 when they were in the 1964-65 period. (I can still hear her referring to Allen Ludden's game show as "Passport" in my head now. )

    So from what you're saying, as I read it, it was more due to her newspaper columns that she got the "girl who everyone loves to hate" rep, in relation to everything else about her; plus the era of which you speak.
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  • Avatar of The1Factotum1i1

    The1Factotum1i1

    [8]Nov 9, 2005
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    The contemporary impression the general public had of Dorothy was fairly or unfairly, a media-made celebrity, starting with the Hearst corporation's portrayal of her as the hot shot girl reporter at the scene of the big stories. 1930's movies about newspapers offer the ready-made archtype of wise-acre, fearless girl correspondents that outscoop her male counterparts. The idea that Dorothy was this character in real life was not dispelled.
    I encountered Dorothy unexpectedly in a 1935 Heart Metrotone Globe Trotter newsreel. She is at the Hauptmann trial in New Jersey. She sits at a long walnut table with a bank of typewriters and telephones on it, presumably this is some kind of space for all the Hearstlings. Men mill around and others working at other typewriters can be seen in the background beyond. Dorothy wears a huge fur-collared coat and wears a small fashionable hat.(Obviously, the court house had no heating) The narrator intros her as a reporter for the (New York) MIRROR, though I think she was actually with the AMERICAN. She stiffly looks into the camera and says nothing you by then (a newsreel at optimum speed gets on the screen in three days) don't know about the case's progress. She's nonsmiling, robotic. She ends by turning back to a typewriter, implying that we're there as this breaking development is in the process of going directly from her just-said thoughts to the copy she'll send on the wire.
    To boost her as a personality, a Nelly Bly stunt was cooked up for her in 1937, where she would go around the world in so many days or hours. Outside of the Hearst press and some happy tobacco merchants who had a special full page cartoon strip ad based on the stunt in the Hearst chain's PUCK comic sections, It meant little toward the cause of aviation progress.
    But nevertheless, Dorothy became a name reporter, because at least there was something that she had done to associate the name with.
    All the great scribes eventually have their personality quirks known too. One of Dorothy's was she loved being famous, and that's why there was such things as the morning radio programme with her husband. Her luck in being part of WML? over the years sustained her exposure and fame longer than if she had not.
    As far as being a reporter goes, she seems paradoxically at once pedantic, fussy and gullible (like the UFO stories and the wild JFK assassination rumors), but also able to deliver scandal, sensationalism and sometimes a crusade(Sam Sheppard Case) like the hardest and most cynical of them.

    She also could have shining moments, like when she called Castro a communist while most were treating him like some kind of grubby George Washington.
    In the main, she blended into public consciousness as sort of lesser version of Louella Parsons or Hedda Hopper, not only because entertainment was her main beat too, but for better or worse, she came after them.They pioneered it, and now it had become a large mainstay of the news reporting world, just as much as Sports or wall Street.
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  • Avatar of W-B

    W-B

    [9]Nov 9, 2005
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    The1Factotum1i1 wrote:
    I encountered Dorothy unexpectedly in a 1935 Heart Metrotone Globe Trotter newsreel. She is at the Hauptmann trial in New Jersey. She sits at a long walnut table with a bank of typewriters and telephones on it, presumably this is some kind of space for all the Hearstlings. Men mill around and others working at other typewriters can be seen in the background beyond. Dorothy wears a huge fur-collared coat and wears a small fashionable hat.(Obviously, the court house had no heating) The narrator intros her as a reporter for the (New York) MIRROR, though I think she was actually with the AMERICAN. She stiffly looks into the camera and says nothing you by then (a newsreel at optimum speed gets on the screen in three days) don't know about the case's progress. She's nonsmiling, robotic. She ends by turning back to a typewriter, implying that we're there as this breaking development is in the process of going directly from her just-said thoughts to the copy she'll send on the wire.

    I seemed to have read that Dorothy started with the American; and that in or around 1937 it was consolidated with the Evening Journal (yet another Hearst paper) to become the Journal-American - before her "Voice of Broadway" column first commenced. But she may have been with the Mirror for a brief period, it's possible . . . I seem to recall Walter Winchell and Suzy (Knickerbocker) had written for both the Mirror and the Journal-American (alas, their J-A involvement commenced post-1963 when the Mirror folded, with Suzy taking over from Igor "Cholly Knickerbocker" Cassini).
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [11]Nov 9, 2005
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    mehitable wrote:
    Was the Finch case one of a doctor and his mistress murdering his wife?


    Yes, I noticed a post I'd made about it 2 years ago, on last night's episode guide. It gave a little more detail.
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  • Avatar of jimarnone

    jimarnone

    [12]Nov 10, 2005
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    mehitable wrote:
    I am glad I read the thread before it vanished. It was very helpful to this newbie. My thanks to everyone who contributed to it.

    Related to the episodes airing now:
    Earlier in the week, I attempted to find online a summary of the Finch murder case. I found mostly JFK conspiracy related material. Was the Finch case one of a doctor and his mistress murdering his wife?


    If you’d like to read more on the Finch murder trial, buy a used copy of Dorothy's last book "Murder One" published 2 years after her untimely death. The first of six chapters dishes out the glory details of the whole Finch-Tregoff tragedy. You should also be able to find a copy at your local library.

    Title: Murder one
    Author: Dorothy Kilgallen
    Description: 304 pages
    Publisher: Random House (1967)
    ASIN: B0007EFTJ6

    There are two other books written on this topic. I have not read either of them. Used copies can be found on amazon.com.

    Title: The ability to kill:true tales of bloody murder
    Author: Ambler, Eric,
    Publisher: New York : Mysterious Press, c1987.
    Description: xxi, 214 p. ; 22 cm.

    Title: A murder in West Covina: Chronicle of the Finch-Tregoff case
    Author: James L. Jones; edited by Lillian Biermann Wehmeyer
    Description: 395 pages
    Publisher: Chaparral (1992)
    ISBN: 0963710206

    Finally, there are numerous references online. Here are some of them:

    -----------------
    Legal Opinions

    [Crim. 7765 Second Dist, Div Four - Mar. 12, 1963]
    People v. Finch (1963) 213 CA2d 752
    http://online.ceb.com/CalCases/CA2/213CA2d752.htm

    [L. A. 25894 Cal Sup Ct - June, 23, 1960]
    Pappa v. Superior Court (1960) 54 C2d 350
    http://online.ceb.com/CalCases/C2/54C2d350.htm
    -----------------
    NY Daily News - Justice Story - By Mara Bovsun
    Originally published on February 2, 2003

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime_file/story/56583p-52944c.html
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime_file/v-pfriendly/story/56583p-52944c.html
    -----------------
    San Gabriel Valley Tribune's 50th Anniversary Stories
    Newspaper Stories Ran The Gamut – (includes photo of Dr Finch at one the three trials)
    Article was published: Thursday, March 17, 2005 - 11:58:04 AM PST

    http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:MywcAY0IKIQJ:www.sgvtribune.com/Stories/0,1413,205~34546~2768242,00.html&hl=en
    (Copy found in google.com cache archive)
    -----------------
    Where are they Now? Murderers Dr. Bernard Finch and Carole Tregoff
    http://www.trivia-library.com/c/where-are-they-now-murderers-dr-bernard-finch-and-carole-tregoff.htm
    -----------------
    If you have access to archive copies of magazines, the following references will be useful: Newsweek, 21 March 1960, p. 44; Life, 28 March 1960, pp. 35, 76; TIME, Feb. 15, 1960; TIME, Mar. 21, 1960; TIME, Apr. 7, 1961

    Time – The Nation - Apr. 7, 1961
    Defiance & Remorse
    http://time-proxy.yaga.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,874302,00.html

    Time - National Affairs - Mar. 21, 1960
    Hung Jury
    http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,894776,00.html?internalid=related

    Time – National Affairs – Feb. 15, 1960
    The Doctor’s Dilemma
    http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,871457,00.html?internalid=related
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  • Avatar of jimarnone

    jimarnone

    [13]Nov 10, 2005
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    In the process of researching the Finch-Tregoff trial, I assembled a timeline of the people and events involved. My original purpose was just to locate the dates of the three trials for this case to see if any comments were made about it by Dorothy (or other regulars) on the WML? programs at the time.

    So far, I have heard a number of references about her weekly travel to LA and the names of other reporters she worked with. If anyone has more information (or memories) of these events, please share it here. I find it interesting to read about other activities the WML regulars were involved in during the 17-year run of the show.

    -----

    Finch Murder / Trial(s) Time Line
    ---------------------------------
    __1917__ Raymond Bernard Finch is born
    __1926__ Barbara Jean Daugherty is born
    __1937__ Carole Tregoff is born
    __1946__ Barbara Jean Daugherty meets Bernard Finch after coming to him for medical care
    Dec 1951 Doctor and Mrs. Finch marry. Both were married previously; she has a daughter, Patti, from her first marriage.
    Apr 1953 Son, Raymond, is born to Dr and Mrs. Finch
    __1955__ Carole Tregoff Pappa begins employment at a medical center owned by Dr Finch and his brother-in-law
    Aug 1956 Carole Tregoff Pappa becomes Dr Finch's medical secretary
    02/26/57 Dr Bernard Finch has 1st private lunch with Carole Tregoff Pappa.
    Apr 1957 Dr Finch rents first "love nest" apartment in Monterey Park
    __1958__ Mrs Barbara Jean Finch learns of adulterous affair
    09/09/58 Mrs Finch calls Jimmy Pappa, Carol's husband, blows the whistle
    09/10/58 Carole leaves Jimmy Pappa, files for divorce & moves in with her dad
    Jan 1959 Mrs Finch sees an attorney
    03/21/59 Dr Finch served with a divorce complaint
    May/June Carole Tregoff moves to Las Vegas
    05/15/59 Mrs Finch claims husband caused bodily harm
    05/16/59 Mrs Finch pistol whipped by husband
    05/20/59 Divorce papers served
    06/11/59 Restraining order signed
    07/07/59 Affidavit of contempt of court order
    07/17/59 Dr Finch takes late evening flight to Las Vegas to meet Carol Tregoff
    07/18/59 Dr Finch & Carol Tregoff drive her car to West Covina & arrive 10:30p
    07/18/59 @11:30p Mrs Finch is murdered
    07/28/59 Preliminary hearing begins
    12/28/59 First trial begins
    03/??/60 First trial ends with hung jury after 4 months/40 hour deliberation
    11/07/60 Second trial ends with a deadlocked jury
    02/26/61 Letter sent by Dr Finch to Carole Tregoff
    03/22/61 Case submitted to jury in third trial
    03/27/61 Jury for third trial finds both Dr Finch & Carole Tregoff guilty
    __1969__ Carole Tregoff is paroled
    __1971__ Dr Bernard Finch is paroled
    ________ Carole Tergoff & Bernard Finch never meet again after their release from prison.
    __1981__ Dr Finch practicing medicine as a country doctor in Bolivar Missouri and is married to a psychiatric social worker.
    __1981__ Carole Tergoff - supervisor if medical records in a SoCal hospital
    __1983__ Dr Finch has his California medical license reinstated.
    __1995__ Dr Raymond Bernard Finch dies.
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    The1Factotum1i1

    [14]Nov 10, 2005
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    Just to straighten out, in case some of you aren't clear about the newspapers, Hearst owned these New York papers: the EVENING JOURNAL,the Morning and Sunday AMERICAN (and after June 1937,the daily and Sunday JOURNAL-AMERICAN) were the full sheets, the MIRROR was a tabloid. The Mirror never made money, it's local competition the DAILY NEWS was always in the lead. The Mirror only lasted from 1921-1963. The Journal-American was another victim of the suicidal newspaper union strikes in the late 50's and early 60's. In 1966, along with their hyphenated, crippled counterparts, the WORLD-TELEGRAM and the HERALD-TRIBUNE, joined together to form an ignominious one-year flop derisively called the "WIDGET".
    In 1935, though technically a New York American (or Mirror) reporter because her stories appeared there, actually she worked for KING FEATURES SYNDICATE, and special stories like the Hauptman trial coverage would have been released via INTERNATIONAL NEWS SERVICE, so her writings would be seen in newspapers across the country and Canada, both in the Hearst chain papers and in client papers outside of it.
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    mehitable

    [15]Nov 11, 2005
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    Thanks, everyone. I will definitely be checking Murder One out.

    Very interesting timeline, jimarnone. Thank you.

    I also enjoy looking up the things they mention on the show and the people, too. unfortunately, I have had more success looking up BTC guests than any other show's guests (for no apparent reason).
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    W-B

    [16]Nov 11, 2005
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    Though this may not have anything to do with Miss Kilgallen (except in terms of her work associations), it should be noted that it was from the International News Service (which in 1958 merged with the United Press to become United Press International) that New York all-news radio station WINS got its call letters (Hearst owned the station from 1932 to the 1940's; ironically, it adopted its current format just a few months prior to Dorothy's death). There's a book called The Airwaves of New York that will tell you all about it. (Maybe have some info on the Breakfast With Dorothy and Dick show in their section on WOR, perhaps?)
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    The1Factotum1i1

    [17]Nov 11, 2005
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    The Hearst Metrotone news would have sponsorship from the regional Hearst newspaper and radio station. The first title showed the spinning globe above a skyline, with the words Hearst Metrotone news above the globe, and "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" below. The MGM lion's face roars at us inside the globe.(In the 1933-35 version) NRA eagles flank the sides. The next title shows a newspaper logo at the top of the frame, a boxy microphone with call letters across it's middle, and the words "THE GLOBE TROTTER" below. The background is a slowly moving cloudy sky. When the fanfare stops, the announcer calls out;" THE NEW YORK AMERICAN GLOBE TROTTER!, or in another one, "THIS IS THE WISCONSIN NEWS GLOBE TROTTER!" The radio station WINS was in the New York Version, WISC in the Milwaukee one. But it's going to be the same film afterward, unless there'd be a pressing local story like a state election, then extras would be included.
    This was not uncommon, UNIVERSAL NEWSPAPER NEWSREEL was a competitor that also announced a regional paper at the beginning.
    The openings are quite rare to see because newsreels were stored by story clips by their producers, and not as whole films.
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    Fat-tote-bag

    [18]Nov 12, 2005
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    The1Factotum1i1 wrote:
    Just to straighten out, in case some of you aren't clear about the newspapers, Hearst owned these New York papers: the EVENING JOURNAL,the Morning and Sunday AMERICAN (and after June 1937,the daily and Sunday JOURNAL-AMERICAN) were the full sheets, the MIRROR was a tabloid. The Mirror never made money, it's local competition the DAILY NEWS was always in the lead. The Mirror only lasted from 1921-1963. The Journal-American was another victim of the suicidal newspaper union strikes in the late 50's and early 60's. In 1966, along with their hyphenated, crippled counterparts, the WORLD-TELEGRAM and the HERALD-TRIBUNE, joined together to form an ignominious one-year flop derisively called the "WIDGET".
    In 1935, though technically a New York American (or Mirror) reporter because her stories appeared there, actually she worked for KING FEATURES SYNDICATE, and special stories like the Hauptman trial coverage would have been released via INTERNATIONAL NEWS SERVICE, so her writings would be seen in newspapers across the country and Canada, both in the Hearst chain papers and in client papers outside of it.


    You don't know what you're talking about. The Daily News outsold Hearst's New York Mirror, but the Mirror outsold all other New York City dailies for many years right up until it expired in September of 1963. The Mirror made lots of money. Any of the several biographies of Walter Winchell say that backed up by sources.

    No, Dorothy Kilgallen was not "a New York American (or Mirror) reporter" in 1935. Her byline appeared in *the New York Evening Journal* during that period before the merger. King Features Syndicate didn't start syndicating her Voice of Broadway column until she started writing it in November of 1938. It gave her relatively few outlets until the new popularity of What's My Line in 1951 - 52 ingratiated the Kilgallen byline with the editors of non - Hearst papers like the Arizona Republic, the New Orleans States Item and the Columbus (Ohio) Evening Dispatch.

    We don't know that the Kilgallen - bylined coverage of the Hauptmann (correct spelling) murder trial in 1935 traveled via International News Service. She was one of many Hearst writers jockeying for position at the trial. Another was Damon Runyon, a much bigger draw then. (He didn't live to see What's My Line.)

    What's My Line needed a few years to reach many small towns in North America as CBS television was mostly confined to larger cities during the Louis Untermeyer era. After it started going all over the place during 1952 - 54, it made the Dorothy Kilgallen byline so reliable that it went much farther than Goodson Todman shows. By January of 1955 you could read the Voice of Broadway *in Australia.* You can learn that at the very beginning of the episode with Louis Jourdan.

    No, the New York City newspaper strikes weren't "suicidal." Union members were reacting to the changing machines and their employers' difficulty keeping up with them. The Journal American used the same presses from the 1930s all the way up until 1966 when it expired. (Source: Bill Hearst's 1991 memoir co - written with Jack Casserly) The first major strike was the long one that lasted from December of 1962 to April of 1963. There was none in "the late 50's" as Factotum1i1 indicated.

    And no, New Yorkers didn't use the nickname Widget "derisively" for the World Journal Tribune in 1966 - 67. WJT is what is known as an "acronym." If you add vowels you have few choices: wajet or woojot or whatever.

    Factotum1i1 really should check out what he says with sources. Any high school journalism teacher suggests three sources per allegation.
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    wieniekilgallen

    [19]Nov 12, 2005
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    Does anyone know where to obtain Dorothy's old columns?
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    The1Factotum1i1

    [20]Nov 12, 2005
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    King features didn't keep such short-shelf life things as topical columns and editorial cartoons, etc. But if you have access to microfilm via your local library, you can find Her stuff in a Hearst paper,(Some cities had two) or subscribing client paper. The work will be in finding that certain paper. Taking out a test reel from the period you're interested in of all the available titles and go gold panning. If it didn't show up in your city, inter-library loans have always been a boon to me. The New York Journal-American will have her VOICE OF BROADWAY column covering her WML? years.The New York Public Library or the Library of Congress can help.
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