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FULDHEIM, DOROTHY

FULDHEIM, DOROTHY (26 June 1893--3 Nov. 1989) entered the field of television at an age when most people begin to plan their retirement and lasted there long enough to become a living legend. She was born Dorothy Violet Snell in Passaic, N.J., and grew up in Milwaukee, Wisw., where she attended Milwaukee College and entered teaching. Following her marriage to Milton H. Fuldheim, she moved to Cleveland in the 1920s and pursued a career in lecturing. She also gained experience in radio, including a local historical biographical series on WTAM and a weekly editorial over the ABC network. Joining Cleveland's first television station, WEWS, 2 months before it went on the air in Dec., 1947, Fuldheim became the first woman in the country with her own news show. Unhampered by any hardened format, she devised one which worked commentary and interviews into the straight news summary.

Eventually others took over the "anchor" chores, leaving her free to concentrate on analysis and interviews and to co-host a long-running afternoon show, "The One O'Clock Club." Among her estimated 15,000 interviews by 1974 were Helen Keller, Anastas Mikoyan, and the Duke of Windsor. WEWS also used her as a roving reporter on assignments ranging from the Mideast to Northern Ireland. An interview she did in Hong Kong with 2 American prisoners released by Communist China in 1955 brought her a National Overseas Press Club award. After the death of her first husband in 1952, Fuldheim was married to William L. Ulmer. Her only child, Dorothy Fuldheim-Urman, a professor of Russian at CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY, died in 1980, and her own career was finally ended at 92, after a crippling stroke suffered on the job on 27 July 1984. Named one of America's Most Admired Women by a Gallup Poll, Fuldheim was the only active journalist included among the charter members of the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame, established by the PRESS CLUB OF CLEVELAND. She wrote 2 autobiographical reminiscences, I Laughed, I Cried, I Loved (1966) and A Thousand Friends (1974).


Fuldheim, Dorothy. I Laughed, I Cried, I Loved: A News Analyst's Love Affair With the World (Cleveland, 1966).