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 1947, she became city editor of the
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
Herald's 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
Newspaperwoman, 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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