I am echoing my fellow editorial staffer Quin Hillyer, as I am also saddened by the passing of our beloved editorial colleague and Commentary Editor at The Washington Times, Mary Lou Forbes. Mary Lou’s back had been bothering her for some time, and she took two falls at her home recently. She died of cancer at the age of 83 on Saturday. The cancer was previously undiagnosed. Here is an excerpt about Mary Lou from Quin:
Mary Lou was a legend in the conservative journalism world. Way back in 1959, a full half century ago, she won the Pulitzer Prize. For the past 27 years, she has worked like a dervish to make the commentary pages of the Wash Times a lively and essential outlet for conservative opinion — one that was especially important in the 15 of those years before the Internet opened more doors. For all those years, her Times pages (along with the companion pages that were the province of Tony Snow, Tod Lindberg, Helle Dale, Tony Blankley, and Deborah Simmons) were an oasis of unimaginable comfort and great information and inspiration for conservatives struggling to be heard. So many conservative opinion-mongers got their first big breaks on the op-ed/commentary pages of the Wash Times, through Mary Lou’s services!
Mary Lou was indeed a warm and intelligent woman working in a fast pace environment of breaking news. She kept her sense of humor and was interested in the latest technology of conveying news. When I was helping her set up her blog account here at the Water Cooler two weeks ago, she told me how she gave a speech to news professionals in the early 1980’s about the future of newspapers and electronic media.
My daily complaint to Mary Lou was about those delicious dark chocolate rasberry jelly candies she would leave on her desk, which would lure writers like myself into her office for a visit. For the brief time I worked with Mary Lou, I will miss hearing stories about op-ed writers, DC personalities, her boogie woogie piano playing, and I will mostly miss her. Rest in peace, Mary Lou Forbes.