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Dora "Dodie" Jane Hamblin

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 the Pacific.

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 overseas.

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 10 years.

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 Heart Belongs.

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.

 
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