Dorothy Townsend Dies at 88; L.A. Times Reporter Broke Newsroom Barrier

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By: Valerie J. Nelson | Los Angeles Times

The only woman in a sea of men in suits, Dorothy Townsend can’t help but stand out in the official photograph of the Los Angeles Times team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1966 for coverage of the Watts riots.

The picture also inadvertently documents Townsend’s other historic role at the newspaper. After insisting on being reassigned from “the women’s pages” in early 1964, she became the first female staff writer to cover local news in a city room long populated only by men.

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