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 Dorothy Celene <I>Thompson</I> Kopf

Dorothy Celene Thompson Kopf

Lancaster, Erie County, New York, USA
Death 30 Jan 1961 (aged 67)
Lisboa, Portugal
Burial Barnard, Windsor County, Vermont, USA
Memorial ID 22856530 · View Source
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Suffragist and journalist. Dorothy Thompson was a journalist and radio broadcaster who is sometimes regarded as “The First Lady of American Journalism.” At her height in 1939, she appeared on the cover of Time magazine in which they named her the second most influential woman in America, next to First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt.

Dorothy was born to Rev. Peter Thompson, a Methodist preacher, and Margaret Grierson, followed by her siblings, Peter and Margaret. Her mother died in 1901, when Dorothy was 7, and her father remarried 2 years later to Elizabeth Abbott. She did not get along well with her step-mother and in 1908, her father sent her to live with his two sisters, Margaret Kenning and Henrietta Thompson, in Chicago where she attended Lewis Institute. Two years later she transferred to Syracuse University and graduated in 1914 and began working out of Buffalo, New York on the women’s suffrage movement. In 1920, she was hired as a freelance journalist and traveled through much of Europe. That year, she was the last person to interview Terence MacSwiney, a leader in the Irish Sinn Féin movement, before he died which secured her position as foreign correspondent for The Philadelphia Ledger. As a correspondent, she chronicled the rise of the Nazis and in 1931, met and interviewed Hitler. In her book, "I Saw Hitler," she wrote about the dangers of the Nazis and famously said of Hitler, “He is formless, almost faceless, a man whose countenance is a caricature, a man whose framework seems cartilaginous, without bones. He is inconsequent and voluble, ill poised and insecure. He is the very prototype of the little man.” Hitler was so bothered by the criticisms of Dorothy Thompson that he had a unit set up to monitor her whereabouts and writings and by August of 1934, she was the first journalist to be expelled from Germany. In 1936, she began writing her very popular “On The Record” syndicated newspaper column which appeared in over 170 newspapers and was read by more than 10 million people. That same year, she became a radio commentator for NBC and her broadcasts were one of the most popular at the time. In Woman of the Year (1942), the main character, Tess Harding, is said to be based on Dorothy and was portrayed by Katherine Hepburn in the movie and by Lauren Bacall on Broadway. She married her first husband, Joseph Bard, in 1923. In 1928, she married the Nobel Prize winning author, Sinclair Lewis, and gave birth to their only son, Michael Lewis, in 1930. In 1945, she married her third husband, Max Kopf. Dorothy Thompson died at the age of 67, while staying with her daughter in-law and grandchildren in Lisbon, Portugal.

"It is not the fact of liberty but, the way in which liberty is exercised that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives."

"Peace has to be created, in order to be maintained. It will never be achieved by passivity and quietism."

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  • Maintained by: Fantasticus
  • Originally Created by: Garver Graver
  • Added: 12 Nov 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 22856530
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Dorothy Celene Thompson Kopf (9 Jul 1893–30 Jan 1961), Find A Grave Memorial no. 22856530, citing Barnard Village Cemetery, Barnard, Windsor County, Vermont, USA ; Maintained by Fantasticus (contributor 48260519) .