Columnist crafts portrait of pioneer ‘Camera Girl’

Award-winning photojournalist Marion Carpenter, one of the first members of the White House News Photographers Association, battled stereotypes from male colleagues, even as she became a favorite of President Harry S Truman in her heyday.

But decades after breaking new ground for women in photojournalism, Carpenter died in October with little public recognition. She was 82.

Nick Coleman, a columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press, takes a look at her life after she left Washington, D.C., and made her way to the Twin Cities in the words of those who knew her in passing.

“Histories of pioneering female journalists don’t mention Marion Carpenter. Maybe her career was too brief or maybe she was too far ahead of her time,” Coleman writes. “Whatever the reason, the social and economic realities for women in the postwar era, when millions of Rosie the Riveters were being pressured to leave the workplace and go back to domestic duties, may have been too powerful to overcome.”