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Louella Parsons

Gossip Columnist + Screenwriter
Born Aug 6, 1881

Louella Parsons was the first American movie columnist. She was retained by William Randolph Hearst, possibly because she had praised Hearst's mistress Marion Davies, and her columns were read by 20 million people in 400 newspapers worldwide. Parsons possessed an uncanny gift for sensing scandal, and her dramatic scoops could make or break an actor's career.… Read More

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1881 Birth Born on August 6, 1881.
1890 8 Years Old In 1890, her widowed mother married John H. Edwards. … Read More


1901 19 Years Old On June 4, 1901 at her high school graduation, Louella gave foretelling speech entitled “Great Men”. … Read More


1902 20 Years Old In 1902, she became the first female journalist in Dixon where she gossiped about Dixon social circles making a step towards her Hollywood career. … Read More
1905 23 Years Old Louella was married three times. First, to real estate developer & broker John Dement Parsons, whom she married in 1905. … Read More


1912 30 Years Old When her marriage broke up, Parsons moved to Chicago. In 1912, she had her first taste of the movie industry by selling a script for $25 to the Essanay Company, once the home of Charlie Chaplin. … Read More
1914 32 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1914, Parsons began writing the first gossip column in the United States for the Chicago Record Herald.
1915 33 Years Old A year later, she married second husband John McCaffrey, Jr. in 1915. … Read More
1918 36 Years Old William Randolph Hearst bought that newspaper in 1918 and Parsons was out of a job, as Hearst had not yet discovered that movies and movie personalities were news. … Read More


1923 41 Years Old In 1923, after shrewd bargaining on both sides, she signed a contract and joined the Hearst newspaper the New York American.
1925 43 Years Old In 1925, Parsons contracted tuberculosis and was told she had six months to live. … Read More
1926 44 Years Old Her third marriage was with Los Angeles surgeon Henry "Harry" Watson Martin (whom she called "Docky") in 1926; served in the Army Medical Corps during World War I. In 1934, they purchased a beautiful mansion at 619 North Maple Drive in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, CA. … Read More
1928 46 Years Old Beginning in 1928, she hosted a weekly radio program featuring movie star interviews that was sponsored by SunKist. … Read More


1934 52 Years Old In 1934, she signed a contract with the Campbell's Soup Company and began hosting a program titled Hollywood Hotel, which showcased stars in scenes from their upcoming movies. … Read More
1937 55 Years Old Her formidable power remained unchallenged until February 14, 1937, when Hedda Hopper, a struggling character actress since the days of silent movies, whom Parsons had been kind to and mentioned occasionally in her column, and who had returned the favor by giving Parsons information on others, was hired to be a gossip columnist by one of Hearst's rival newspapers. … Read More


1944 62 Years Old In 1944, she wrote her memoirs, The Gay Illiterate, published by Doubleday, Doran and Company, which became a bestseller. … Read More
1951 69 Years Old They remained married until her beloved husband Dr. Harry W. Martin passed away on Sunday, June 24, 1951.
1972 91 Years Old After her retirement, Parsons lived in a nursing home where she died of arteriosclerosis on December 9, 1972, age 91. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louella_Parsons.
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