Dorothy Kilgallen


Dorothy Kilgallen

Original Name Dorothy Mae Kilgallen
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Death 8 Nov 1965 (aged 52)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Hawthorne, Westchester County, New York, USA
Plot Kollmar Family, Section 23, Lot 121-6
Memorial ID 580 View Source
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Journalist, Television and Radio Personality. She was born in Chicago, Illinois, her father was well known International News Service and Chicago Evening-Journal reporter James Lawrence Kilgallen. Her formal education was at Erasmus Hall High School and a year at the College of New Rochelle. She joined her father and went to work at the Evening-Journal earning a reputation as a crime reporter. In September 1936, she took part in a race around the world against two fellow male newsmen. Dorothy left at 11pm on the Hindenburg, hoping to complete the trip in 21 days. During that time, she covered her travels with a laptop typewriter. Dorothy made it in a little over 24 days, coming in second. This race made her famous. Her neighborhood in Chicago was decorated with American Flags and pictures as neighbors waited to greet the reporter. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt sent her congratulations. Her filed reports were compiled in book form and published as 'Girl Around the World.' It fostered the movie 'Fly Away Baby' which was filmed in 1937. A song was also written about her, 'Hats off to Dorothy' She was transferred from Chicago to the New York Journal-American where she began penning the column,'The Voice of Broadway,' which she authored until her death.. She wrote about shows and celebrities in New York City, often derogatory, which led to many feuds. Her marriage to actor Richard Kollmar was the social event of the year. Guests included : Thomas Dewey, Tyrone Powers, Ethel Merman and Milton Berle who mingled with 800 other guests. Then the ultimate fame indicator - Ruben's Restaurant named a sandwich in her honor, 'The 'Dorothy Kilgallen' which sold at $l. WOR Radio launched Dorothy and her husband in a radio show. It became a popular morning feature, 'Breakfast with Dorothy and Dick' which was broadcast live daily from their own apartment dining room. They would discuss the daily news, drink coffee, talk with their children and discuss Broadway shows and performers in the New York area. 1950, saw the beginning of TV's longest running show 'What's My Line.' Dorothy was a panelist from the beginning until the day of her death. The show featured contestants with unusual occupations which were interviewed by the panelists. She continued to be an active reporter, covering the coronation of Queen Elizabeth and then the Sam Sheppard murder retrial. Her extensive coverage of the Kennedy assassination pointed out inconsistencies in the Warren Report and her claim to have true knowledge of the events. Her involvement to this day continues to spawn conspiracy theories about her own death. She was found in her apartment sitting upright in bed, fully clothed, in the morning, dead at 52. After investigation by the New York City Police and what the coroner examination revealed, it was determined she had died from a self induced drug overdose. Conspiracy theorist say an important file she had compiled on the Kennedy assassination was missing and has never been found.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 580
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Dorothy Kilgallen (3 Jul 1913–8 Nov 1965), Find a Grave Memorial ID 580, citing Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, Westchester County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .