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Mary Morris was early female AP photographer

AP reports that one of its first female photographers, Mary Morris Lawrence, died Aug. 12 in Oakland at age 95. She was suffering from heart problems.

The Chicago native joined the AP in New York on Nov. 16, 1936 and worked as a features photographer.

Morris described herself as a “groundbreaker” in an interview with The Oakland Tribune in 2007 and recalled male colleagues at the AP joking that they would no longer be able to change their pants in the darkroom.

“I never thought of myself as a feminist,” she said during the interview, noting that there were few women at the AP back then. “The guys were very nice to me. They probably made a lot of jokes behind my back.” [AP obit and paid Chronicle death notice]

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