97-year-old reporter in Denver City started new era in news 76 years ago
DENVER CITY, Texas (KCBD) - Grace New is 97 years old, but she remembers every detail of her first job right out of college. She was Grace Robinson then, in 1946, and she was the first woman beat reporter in the Metroplex for WBAP radio.
“My beat was the police station, the Dallas police station, the city council, the Dallas city council, the sheriff’s office, the courthouse, the federal building,” Grace said.
She was busy and she didn’t have transportation or a desk. The police department let her set up a desk there. And if she couldn’t catch a street car when news broke, she had a little help getting to the scene.
“The Dallas police would take me with them in a squad car. I was in the backseat hanging on to the straps when the policeman went siren with their sirens on down to and covering the story,” she said.
No matter if it was a robbery or a murder, Grace wasn’t afraid to ask the hard questions. Even once confronting the suspect over a dead body.
“And so I just went right in and I said ‘Who did you kill?’ And he said, ‘I killed my son-in-law. He ruined my baby daughter.’ And I said, ‘Well, how do you spell his name?’ (First things first) I guess you’d say, a little bit obnoxious. But you had to get the news you know.”
Grace fought to get the top story every day and it wasn’t long before she earned herself a nickname.
“The police called me “Scoop” because I could get the news in on the radio before they got in their newspaper.”
And that’s how she made her mark in the business.
“There was a Dallas Morning News and in the Dallas Times Herald,” she said.
“They began to see now that there was a new era that had started. That news was timely. Yes, we got it. We got it on a newscast on the radio before they could get it out in the newspaper.”
But the biggest story for Grace was meeting Paul New, a pilot in WWII who came back to get a law degree. They married, moved to Denver City and had four children.
“Every time I heard a siren, or something, you know, I’d think, Oh, I wonder what’s happening. You know, of course, I did not want to miss anything.”
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