Marguerite Higgins: “The ban on female correspondents in Korea has been lifted. Everyone loves her.” Writing

Marguerite Higgins.

From The writer’s almanac:

Today is the war correspondent’s birthday Marguerite Higgins– She was born in Hong Kong in 1920 and her family lived there while her father worked for a shipping company. They moved back to the States when Marguerite was three years old; She grew up in Oakland, California.

She studied French at the University of California at Berkeley and earned a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University in 1942. With many male reporters doing military service during the war, the newspapers were ready to give female reporters a chance.

Higgins got a job at the New York Herald TribuneIn 1944, after working for them for two years, she persuaded them to send them to Europe to report on World War II. She reported first from London and then from Paris. In 1945 she was sent to Germany, where she witnessed the liberation of the Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps and reported on the Nuremberg Trials and the Soviet blockade of Berlin.

She was named Tokyo Office Manager in 1950, and shortly after she arrived in Japan to take her post, the Korean War broke out. She was one of the first reporters on the scene, but she was Herald Tribune sent her best male reporter, Homer Bigart, to replace her when General Walton Walker soon ordered her out of the country; Walker believed that women did not belong on the front lines. She appealed to Douglas MacArthur, who wired the newspaper: “The ban on female correspondents in Korea has been lifted. Marguerite Higgins is held in high regard by everyone. “

She died in 1966 after contracting the tropical disease leishmaniasis during the Vietnam War. She was 45.

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