The Chronicle reports that Karola Saekel, who helped lead the way for women journalists in the Bay Area, died on Monday of complications from cancer at age 81. From the obit:
- In 1955, after covering Munich as a young reporter in her native Germany, she applied for a job at The Chronicle. She was told that she seemed like “a nice girl,” but that the metro section already had a female reporter.
- Management “really believed back then that you only had one ‘sob sister’ in the newsroom,” said William German, former Chronicle executive editor. “Karola gave the finger to that old-boy establishment.”
- The young journalist set her sights on working at The Chronicle. She wheedled her way in through a copy editor position in Women’s World, a daily section focused primarily on society news. She used to tell younger reporters that she kept a pair of white gloves and a hat in her desk drawer if she had to run outside the building to do an interview.
Plans for a memorial service are pending.