- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 1, 2009


The Competitive Enterprise Institute mourns the passing this week of Mary Lou Forbes, a distinguished journalist with a career that spanned more than 50 years. Throughout, she possessed the key qualities of perceptiveness and curiosity.

In 1959, she became one of the first female reporters to garner a Pulitzer Prize, for her coverage of desegregation for The Washington Star.

In the 1980s, she created the multipage Commentary section of The Washington Times, which she continued editing until her passing.

She opened the Washington media to voices of free-market economics and sound science and, in fact, was one of the first to publish the iconoclastic writings of my friend, Warren T. Brookes. After his death, Mary Lou helped us establish the Warren T. Brookes Journalism Fellowship at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

In the years that followed, she was invaluable to CEI in reviewing and publishing many an opinion article from CEI scholars. She was also a frequent guest and sometimes integral presenter at CEI’s annual dinners. Indeed, she just attended our 25th Silver Anniversary dinner on June 11. She will be sorely missed as a vital voice in the free market of ideas, and her helpful guidance to news writers and policy scholars will always be remembered. Washington has lost a fine journalist and a great lady.

Fred L. Smith Jr. is president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

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