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Louella Parsons

newspaper columnist
Born: 1881
Birthplace: Freeport, Ill.

While still in high school Louella Oettinger became drama editor of the Dixon (Illinois) Morning Star. She married John Parsons in 1910. In 1914 her husband died and Parsons began writing the first movie column in the country for the Chicago Record-Herald. Four years later she moved to New York and started working for the New York Morning Telegraph. In 1922 she joined the Hearst newspaper, the New York American. In 1925, Parsons got tuberculosis and was told she had six months to live. She decided to spend the rest of her life in California. However, she recovered, becoming the Hearst newspaper chain's syndicated Hollywood columnist. As her column came to appear in 400 newspapers with a readership of 20 million, Parsons gradually became one of the most powerful voices in Hollywood. She published her memoirs, in 1944 and in 1961. She stopped writing her column in 1965.

Died: 1972

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