British journalist Clare Hollingworth passed away in Hong Kong, aged 105. Hollingworth was a reporter at the Daily Telegraph who is known for breaking the news of World War II. Here are some things to know about her:
1. She was 27 when she broke the story about WWII. She was in Poland at the time, when she heard aircraft fire aimed at German bombers. She borrowed a car and drove into German occupied territory, where she saw military tanks and cars.
She filed the story on August 29, 1939, titled “1000 Tanks Massed On Polish Border. Ten Divisions Reported Ready for Swift Stroke”.
“I broke this story when I was very, very young,” she said. “I went there to look after the refugees, the blind, the deaf and the dumb. While I was there, the war suddenly came into being,” she said in an interview to the Telegraph.
2. She was the daughter of the owner of a shoe factory, and won a scholarship at the University of London.
3. She has reported on war zones throughout her life. She has covered the conflicts in Algeria, Palestine and Vietnam.
4. Her reporting often involved spies and double agents. In fact, the MI15 once suspected her of being a spy!
5. Journalists from all over the world think of her as one of the best war correspondents. Charles Moore, the former editor of the Daily Telegraph, calls her “one of the greatest reporters of the 20th century, a legend in journalism and a trailblazer for women reporters”.
6. She was the first to get an interview with the Shah of Iran, and also the last, after he fell.
7. “I enjoy action. I’m not brave, I just enjoy it. I don’t know why. God made me like this. I’m not frightened,” she famously said.
Hollingworth was ahead of her times. She pursued a career that was traditionally male, and was fearless in her reporting. She spent most of her life abroad and her passion and dedication to doing a great job won her the respect of the international journalist community.