Saturday, January 2, 2010

Via Gawker (who yanked WaPo), it's been learned that former Post ombudsman Deborah Howell has died as the result of her injuries from an auto-pedestrian accident. Howell, 68, was on vacation in New Zealand when she was struck. From WaPo:

Howell was traveling in New Zealand on vacation with her husband, C. Peter Magrath, at the time of the accident. Her stepson Nick Coleman said Howell suffered fatal injuries when struck by a vehicle. She lived in Glen Echo.

Howell is credited for leading the way in journalism for women and holding the position as the first woman to lead a newspaper (so as a female journalist myself, she's somewhat of an icon).

This is my favorite part, yanked from Gawker's remembrance:

In 2006, her Ombudsman tenure, not four months old, got pretty interesting when she noted that Jack Abramoff had made contributions to both Democrats and Republicans; she later corrected herself as noting that Abramoff had "directed" contributions to both political parties. After a drawn-out brouhaha involving hate speech, shutting down comments, corrections, and the exact kind of thing editors at majors newspapers never want to have to deal with, Howell infamously noted then:

To all of those who wanted me fired, I'm afraid you're out of luck. I have a contract. For the next two years, I will continue to speak my mind. Keep smiling. I will.

It's the DC way of having said "suck it."

Howell was awesome and she will be greatly missed.

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