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The Men Behind the Golden Era of the Florida Women’s Pages: Jim Bellows, Lee Hills, & Al Neuharth
By Kimberly Wilmot Voss, PhD
For decades, the only place for women in journalism was in the women’s pages of newspapers. The “golden era” for the sections was in the 1950s and 1960s. And, the place to be during those decades was Florida. It was due to a mix of talented women journalists and male editors who were willing to change the definition of women’s news. With South Florida’s population booming after World War II through the building up of the Space Coast, there was big news to report. The women’s sections began to present a “quilted news” that mixed the traditional with the progressive. Al Neuharth, who would go on to found USA Today, began at the Miami Herald before heading Gannett’s Florida newspapers. He hired Gloria Biggs to be the first publisher of a Gannett newspaper. In 1950, Lee Hills hired women’s page editor Dorothy Jurney and directed her to improve her section at the Miami Herald. Jim Bellows helped improve women’s news at the Miami News before moving on to head several daily newspapers. This paper is the story of the men helped (and occasionally hurt) women’s news in Florida.