Agness Underwood was a Los Angeles
newspaper woman for forty-two years. During the 1930s and 1940s she was one of the
city's best-known court and police reporters. In 1946, she became city editor of
Herald Express, a post she held for seventeen and a
half years. During that time, she was the only woman city editor of a major American
metropolitan newspaper. No man had ever held the job more than four years, and during
her editorship she helped push the
circulation up over 700,000, which made it the largest afternoon daily in the West at
that time. The
Agness M. Underwood Collection consists
predominantly of articles, correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, speeches,
typescripts, and galley proofs for her book
which combine to document both her journalistic work and family life.
Agness Underwood was a Los Angeles newspaper woman for forty-two years. She started her
long and successful career in the newspaper business as a switchboard operator in 1926,
when she was hired on temporarily by the Los Angeles
Record. Her first newspaper experiences began on a part-time basis under the wing
of Gertrude Price, helping with the Cynthia Gray Christmas Basket project sponsored by
the Record. From time to time, Underwood was also given
assignments covering junior women's clubs events. For the next four years Underwood
worked on a more or less part-time reporter status.
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