Dora "Dodie" Jane Hamblin graduated magna cum
laude from Coe in 1941, majoring in Journalism. Among
her many activities and accomplishments at Coe, Hamblin was a Delta
Delta Delta president, Panhellenic president, and Cosmos editor. She also played tennis and was on both the
hockey and basketball teams at Coe.
After graduation, Hamblin went on to
get her Master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University in
1942. Ever in the action, she served in
the Red Cross during World War II, travelling with them to Europe and
Hamblin started her long career at
Life magazine in 1948, working at first as a researcher in New York
City. She went on to be a correspondent in
London, Paris, Chicago, and Rome.
Hamblin loved working on assignment. Ralph Graves, retired editor and editorial
director of Life magazine, once Hamblin's chief in Chicago, remembered
her for the Coe Courier. "She hated to be
in the office--except to type up her story as fast as possible so that
she could get back to the field." She
spoke French and Italian, and was happiest when she was able to work
In 1956, she was named the Bureau
Chief in Rome. In 1960 she moved to the
New York Office, working as Assistant and Associate Editor and Staff
Writer--one of the first women to earn the title at Life--for the next
Over the years, Dora Jane Hamblin
covered many famous people, places, and occurences for Life. She was in charge of covering the death of
Pope Pius and the coronation of Pope John Paul while she was in Rome. She wrote many pieces about the U.S.
Astronauts while she was in New York. She
wrote stories about many celebrities, including Ingrid Bergman, Sophia
Loren, and Ethel Merman.
After 22 years of working with Life
Magazine, she retired in 1970, returning to live in Trevignano, Italy,
outside of Rome. Hamblin continued to
write, spinning out articles for archaeology periodicals as well as
magazines like Sports Illustrated, Smithsonian, Classic, and Signature.
Dodie Hamblin also wrote a total of
eight books, most about Italian archaeology. The
collection includes That was the LIFE, a book about her time and
experiences with Life Magazine. She also
assisted Mary Martin with the biography of her life, a book entitled My
Dodie Hamblin, whose close and
extended family included more than 20 Coe alumni, donated part of a
scholarship established in memory of her parents, who were two Coe
graduates. Her siblings, also alumni, also
contributed to the scholarship. Hamblin
received an Award of Merit from Coe in 1961. Coe
also named her an Honorary Doctor of Literature in 1968.
Dora Jane Hamblin spent the last 23
years of her life in her favorite country, Italy. She
passed away in 1993, afflicted with throat cancer.