Furman, Bess, 1894-1969Variant names
Author and journalist.
From the description of Bess Furman papers, 1728-1967 (bulk 1900-1966). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 80347788
1894, Dec. 2:
Born, Danbury, Nebr.
Graduated, Nebraska State Teachers College, Kearney, Nebr.
1918- 1919: Staff writer, Kearny Daily Hub, Kearney, Nebr.
1919- 1929: News feature and Sunday magazine writer, Omaha Bee-News
1929- 1937: News staff reporter, Associated Press, Washington, D.C.
Married Robert Burns Armstrong (died 1955)
1937- 1941: Partner with her sister, Lucile N. Furman, in Furman Features, a press and radio consultant and writing service used especially by women's organizations
1941- 1943: Assistant chief, Magazine Division, Office of War Information
1943- 1961: Staff writer, New York Times
Published Washington By-Line. New York: A. A. Knopf
Published White House Profile. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill
Appointed head, press information section, Department of Health, Education and Welfare Published Progress in Prosthetics. Washington, D.C.: Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, U.S. Department of Heal, Education and Welfare
Died, Woodacres, Md.
Posthumous publication with Ralph C. Williams of A Profile of the United States Public Health Service, 1798-1948. Bethesda, Md.: National Institutes of Health
From the guide to the Bess Furman Papers, 1728-1967, (bulk 1900-1966), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)
Bess Furman (1894-1969) was born in Danbury, Red Willow County, NE. A pioneering woman journalist, she was White House correspondent for New York Times, and developed a lasting friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt while covering the First Lady as her principal Associated Press assignment in the 1930s. She also used her writing talent and public position to champion women's rights and influence the role of women in the nation's political life.
Furman's father edited and published the Danbury News . By the time Furman was ten years old, she was helping report local news, set type and arrange papers for delivery. Furman graduated from Kearney State Teacher's College in 1918, and was the first woman editor of the school's newspaper. Her first professional reporting position was with the Omaha Daily News as a street reporter, often using the pseudonym "Bobbie O'Dare." A prize-winnning report of an Omaha visit by presidential candidate Al Smith in 1928 earned her a post at the Associated Press, where she insisted on being assigned to Washington, D.C. After covering the House of Representatives for two years, she became White House beat reporter from 1932-1936.
After freelancing with her sister from 1937 to 1941, Furman was offered a job with the Office of War Information during the early years of World War II. In 1943, she moved to the New York Times, replacing Eleanor Darnton as the "woman-interest" reporter in Washington. She remained with the Times until 1961, when she joined the Dept. of Heath, Eudcation and Welfare as a public affairs assistant. In 1962 she became head of HEW's Press Information Section and took a three year position to write a history of the Public Health Service, A profile of the United States Public Health Service, 1798-1948 (1973).
Furman was married to Robert B. Armstrong, Jr., a Los Angeles Times photographer and reporter whom she met while covering the U.S House of Representatives. He died in 1955. Bess Furman died in 1969 in Woodacres, MD. Her 1949 autobiography is titled Washington By-Line .
From the guide to the Bess Furman (Armstrong) Papers - Project materials pertaining to a history of the U.S. Public Health Service, 1962-1969, (History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine)
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|New York (State)--New York|
|American newspapers--New York (State)--New York|
|Public health administration--History|