Nan C. Robertson

Nan C. Robertson (July 11, 1926 - October 13, 2009) was an American journalist, author and instructor in journalism. Her awards included a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.

Nan C. Robertson
BornJuly 11, 1926
DiedOctober 13, 2009 (aged 83)
OccupationJournalist, instructor in journalism
Notable credit(s)
The New York Times; The Girls in the Balcony: Women, Men, and The New York Times (book)
Spouse(s)Allyn Baum (divorce);
Stanley Levey (d. 1971);
William Warfield Ross (d. 2006)[1]
Children5 stepchildren

Five decades in journalism

Born in Chicago, Illinois,[2] Robertson attended Northwestern University, where she was a member of Alpha Phi sorority until she graduated in 1948.[3] She traveled to Europe and was a reporter for Stars and Stripes in Germany (1948–49) and a fashion publicist in Paris (1950). From 1951 to 1953, she was a correspondent in Germany for the Milwaukee Journal and a feature writer and columnist — based in Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt and London[2] — for the New York Herald Tribune from 1952 to 1953. Robertson also reported for the London American Daily from 1953 to 1954.

Robertson joined the staff of The New York Times in 1955, beginning as a general assignment reporter for the city desk and women's news.

From 1963 to 1972, Robertson was a Washington correspondent, focusing on the White House, Congress, presidential campaigns and voting and campus political trends across the United States. From 1972 to 1975, she was based in Paris, covering France, neighboring countries and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. From 1975 to 1982, Robertson reported for the Living and Style sections.

In 1983, Robertson won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for her medically detailed account of her struggle with toxic shock syndrome, a cover story for The New York Times Magazine that at that time became the most widely syndicated article in Times history.[4]

She formally retired from the Times in 1988 (serving her last five years as a reporter on the cultural news desk), but continued to write for the paper until 1996.

In 1994, Robertson became the first Eugene L. Roberts Visiting Professor of Journalism at the University of Maryland.[2]

She died in Rockville, Maryland, at the age of 83.[5]

Other awards

In addition to her Pulitzer Prize, Robertson is a recipient of the following:

  • 1962 - Newswomen's Club of New York - Feature Writing Award
  • 1980 - Newswomen's Club of New York - Best Feature Front Page Award
  • 1981 and 1983 - Fellowship at the MacDowell Colony
  • 1982 - Newswomen's Club of New York - Special Award for Excellence
  • 1983 - Newspaper Guild of New York - Page One Award
  • 1983 - Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship
  • 1991 - Northwestern University Alumnae Award
  • 1992 - Northwestern University - honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters
  • 1993 - International Women's Media Foundation - Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2009 - Washington Press Club - Lifetime Achievement Award


External video
Booknotes interview with Robertson on The Girls in The Balcony: Women, Men, and The New York Times, March 29, 1992, C-SPAN
  • Getting Better: Inside Alcoholics Anonymous. New York: William Morrow. 1988. ISBN 0-688-06869-3.
  • The Girls in the Balcony: Women, Men, and The New York Times. New York: Random House. 1992. ISBN 0-394-58452-X.


  1. ^ Fox, Margalit (October 15, 2009). "Nan Robertson, Pulitzer-Winning Times Reporter, Dies at 83". New York Times. p. B13.
  2. ^ a b c Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism profile of Nan C. Robertson.
  3. ^ Reporting Civil Rights: Reporters and Writers: Nan Robertson
  4. ^ The Times Goes Computer
  5. ^ Associated Press

External links

1983 Pulitzer Prize

The following are the Pulitzer Prizes for 1983.

Alpha Phi

Alpha Phi International Women's Fraternity (ΑΦ) is a sorority with 170 active chapters and over 200,000 initiated members.

Founded at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York on September 18, 1872, it is the fourth Greek-letter organization founded for women, and the first "sorority" founded for women in the northeast.

Alpha Phi is a member of the National Panhellenic Conference, the governing council of 26 women's fraternities. Its own national headquarters are located in Evanston, Illinois.

Deaths in October 2009

The following is a list of deaths in October 2009.

Entries for each day are listed alphabetically by surname. A typical entry lists information in the following sequence:

Name, age, country of citizenship at birth, subsequent country of citizenship (if applicable), reason for notability, cause of death (if known), and reference.

Happy Rockefeller

Margaretta Large Fitler Murphy "Happy" Rockefeller (June 9, 1926 – May 19, 2015) was a philanthropist and the second wife of the 49th Governor of New York and 41st Vice President of the United States, Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (1908–1979). She was First Lady of New York from her marriage to then-Governor Rockefeller in 1963 until he left office in 1973, and Second Lady of the United States during her husband's tenure as Vice President from December 19, 1974 until his term ended on January 20, 1977.

Joan Riddell Cook

Joan Riddell Cook (January 5, 1922 in Portland, Oregon – February 5, 1995 in New York City) was an American newspaper journalist and editor, a trade union leader, and a founding director of JAWS (Journalism and Women Symposium). Cook died of breast cancer in 1995 in New York City.

List of Pulitzer Prizes awarded to The New York Times

Since 1918, The New York Times daily newspaper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, a prize awarded for excellence in journalism in a range of categories.

Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing

The Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing is one of the fourteen American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Journalism. It has been awarded since 1979 for a distinguished example of feature writing giving prime consideration to high literary quality and originality.

Finalists have been announced from 1980, ordinarily two others beside the winner.

Robert White (tenor)

Robert White (born October 27, 1936) is an American tenor and voice teacher who has had an active performance career for eight decades. If he is not better known to the general public, it is because his career, confined to art song and the concert stage, has not brought him the wider renown of singers who make their careers in opera; but he has long been cherished by connoisseurs of vocal music for the pure lyric sweetness of his voice and his scrupulous musicianship.

He began performing Irish songs on the radio in 1942 at the age of six on programs like Coast to Coast on a Bus and The Fred Allen Show; earning the nickname the "little John McCormack". In the late 1950s he embarked on a career as a concert tenor, and achieved great success as an exponent of early music by such composers as Handel, Bach, and Monteverdi during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. He has performed in concerts with several major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein and the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy, and has performed at the White House for Presidents John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter.

In the mid 1970s White returned to his roots as a performer of Irish songs, and achieved fame internationally as an 'Irish tenor,' drawing comparison to John McCormack; he even performed on programs for BBC television in honor of the late tenor. He continues to perform in concerts with a diverse repertoire ranging from Irish ballads to opera to contemporary art songs and works from the classical tenor canon. Several composers have written works specifically for him, including Mark Adamo, William Bolcom, John Corigliano, Lukas Foss, Stephen Hough, Libby Larsen, Lowell Liebermann, Gian Carlo Menotti, Tobias Picker, Ned Rorem, and David Del Tredici. He has made several recordings for RCA Victor Records, mainly of Irish songs and ballads, and has also recorded a diverse repertoire for Virgin Classics, EMI, and Hyperion. A former faculty member of Hunter College and the Manhattan School of Music, he currently teaches on the voice faculty of the Juilliard School. He also works periodically as an interviewer for the radio station WQXR-FM.

Tender Mercies

Tender Mercies is a 1983 American drama film directed by Bruce Beresford. The screenplay by Horton Foote focuses on Mac Sledge, a recovering alcoholic country music singer who seeks to turn his life around through his relationship with a young widow and her son in rural Texas. Robert Duvall plays the role of Mac; the supporting cast includes Tess Harper, Betty Buckley, Wilford Brimley, Ellen Barkin and Allan Hubbard.

Financed by EMI Films, Tender Mercies was shot largely in Waxahachie, Texas. The script was rejected by several American directors before the Australian Beresford accepted it. Duvall, who sang his own songs in the film, drove more than 600 miles (966 km) throughout the state, tape recording local accents and playing in country music bands to prepare for the role. He and Beresford repeatedly clashed during production, at one point prompting the director to walk off the set and reportedly consider quitting the film.

The film encompasses several different themes, including the importance of love and family, the possibility of spiritual resurrection amid death, and the concept of redemption through Mac Sledge's conversion to Christianity. Following poor test screening results, distributor Universal Pictures made little effort to publicize Tender Mercies, which Duvall attributed to the studio's lack of understanding of country music.

The film was released on March 4, 1983, in a limited number of theaters. Although unsuccessful at the box office, it was critically acclaimed and earned five Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture. Tender Mercies won Oscars for Best Original Screenplay for Foote and Best Actor for Duvall.

Toxic shock syndrome

Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a condition caused by bacterial toxins. Symptoms may include fever, rash, skin peeling, and low blood pressure. There may also be symptoms related to the specific underlying infection such as mastitis, osteomyelitis, necrotising fasciitis, or pneumonia.TSS is caused by bacteria of either the Streptococcus pyogenes or Staphylococcus aureus type. Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome is sometimes referred to as toxic-shock-like syndrome (TSLS). The underlying mechanism involves the production of superantigens during an invasive streptococcus infection or a localized staphylococcus infection. Risk factors for the staphylococcal type include the use of very absorbent tampons, and skin lesions in young children. Diagnosis is typically based on symptoms.Treatment includes antibiotics, incision and drainage of any abscesses, and possibly intravenous immunoglobulin. The need for rapid removal of infected tissue via surgery in those with a streptococcal cause, while commonly recommended, is poorly supported by the evidence. Some recommend delaying surgical debridement. The overall risk of death is about 50% in streptococcal disease, and 5% in staphylococcal disease. Death may occur within 2 days.In the United States streptococcal TSS occurs in about 3 per 100,000 per year, and staphylococcal TSS in about 0.5 per 100,000 per year. The condition is more common in the developing world. It was first described in 1927. Due to the association with very absorbent tampons, these products were removed from sale.

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