FRONT PAGE GIRL

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When Doris O’Donnell began writing for the Cleveland papers in 1937, female reporters were rare and always wore white gloves. In a career that spanned half a century, she pranced around as a cigarette girl and drove an army tank; she jockeyed with male reporters for scoops on the police beat and maneuvered her way through riot torn streets; she breached the Iron Curtain in the early days of the Cold War and prowled the streets of Los Angeles on the trail of the gun used to killed Robert Kennedy. Ms. O’Donnell worked for the Cleveland News, The Cleveland Plain Dealer and a number of smaller papers in between, and at one time handled public relations for Mayor Ralph J. Perk as well as for the Cleveland Zoo. She was niece to the county sheriff, daughter of a Democratic Party ward leader, friend to the county coroner and the wife of another of Cleveland’s prominent journalists, Howard Beaufait.