Nieman News

The first two women awarded Nieman Fellowships died recently within just two days of each other. Charlotte FitzHenry Robling and Mary Leary Sherry and 12 other print reporters were members of the Class of 1946, under Curator Louis Lyons.

Sherry died on Feb. 25 at age 94; Robling died on Feb. 27 at age 90.

According to Sherry’s obituary, [Sherry and Robling] “had to fight to gain access to Harvard’s library, formerly reserved for men only.”

Both women were unwitting trailblazers in the then male-dominated world of journalism.

“With what may be called feminist leanings decades before any such movement identified itself, Robling moved in groups of women in her communities who were politically ahead of their time. Her lifelong dedication to the Democratic Party gave her special joy.”

“Sherry just thought she could work as hard and write as well as any man. She believed it her obligation to convey to the average citizen what was at stake in the government’s dealings, whether in Sacramento or city hall.”

Read both remembrances of their year at Harvard, published in the Summer 1979 issue of Nieman Reports.

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