'First' Female Photog for AP Dies at 95

By: Daryl Lang Mary Morris Lawrence, believed to be the first female photographer hired by the Associated Press, died Aug. 12 at her home in Oakland, Calif., at age 95.

The Oakland Tribune, quoting a 2007 interview with Lawrence, reports that she was the first woman on the AP's photo staff. "When The Associated Press hired her, AP male photographers joked that they no longer would be able to change their pants in the darkroom," a columnist for the paper wrote in 2007. AP records show Lawrence joined the AP in New York on Nov. 16, 1936 and worked there for three and-a-half years.

She later shot for the tabloid newspaper PM before moving to California to photograph celebrities. Her subjects included Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry Fonda, Marilyn Monroe, Leonard Bernstein, Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart, Salvador Dali and Orson Welles. Her work appeared in magazines such as Look, Life and Mademoiselle.

Her obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle ends with the suggestion: "In lieu of flowers, Mary would ask you to join the League of Women Voters, shop at Farmer Joes, write a letter to the editor, or break a glass ceiling!"

-- Nielsen Business Media


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