Born: December 19, 1928
Died: April 16, 1987
Ohio connection: Former Resident
Charlotte Murray Curtis was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1928, the daughter of George Morris and Lucille (Atcherson) Curtis. She received a B.A. degree from Vassar College, after which she worked as a reporter for the Columbus Citizen newspaper in Columbus, Ohio. In 1961, she began work as women’s news editor at the New York Times. She later became op-ed editor, a position she held until shortly before her death in 1987. Curtis was largely responsible for changing the focus of the women’s section of the newspaper from topics such as shopping and fashion to political issues such as abortion and feminism. She also contributed her personal insights through a weekly commentary on social issues. She became the first female senior editor of the paper. Curtis was a contributor to Sports Illustrated, Town and Country, New York Times Magazine, Ladies’ Home Journal,Gentlemen’s Quarterly, and other periodicals. She was the author of two books, First Lady, about Jacqueline Kennedy, and The Rich and Other Atrocities. She won numerous journalism awards and was a serious spokesperson for the growing feminist movement. Charlotte Curtis died of cancer on April 16, 1987, in Columbus, Ohio.
Miss Curtis was awarded many honors for her reporting, including awards from the New York Newspaper Women’s Club, the Ohio Newspaper Women’s Club, the New York and Los Angeles branches of Women in Communications, the American Newspaper Women’s Club, the American Civil Liberties Union and the University of Southern California. She also received five honorary degrees.