Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation was established in 1982 by Edith Kinney Gaylord to advance the future of journalism.
Edith Gaylord was known as Oklahoma’s quiet philanthropist, Ms. Gaylord often made anonymous donations to help those in need. After a lifetime of giving, she formally created two foundations that allowed her contributions to do the most good, for the most people. In doing so, Ms. Gaylord created foundations that would stand the test of time and continue giving long after her death in 2001.
Edith Gaylord pictured with Eleanor Roosevelt
Edith Kinney Gaylord was born March 5, 1916 in Oklahoma City to parents Inez and E. K. Gaylord. Her father was editor and publisher of The Oklahoman and The Oklahoma City Times. Edith attended Colorado College in Colorado Springs before graduating from Wells College in Aurora, New York in spring of 1939 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Edith had begun her journalistic career reporting for her father’s newspaper and radio station in Oklahoma City. In the summer of 1942, she was hired by the Associated Press in New York and was transferred five months later to their Washington, D.C. bureau. She was the first female employee on the general news staff.
She filed stories from New York, Hollywood, San Francisco and Chicago while following Madame Chiang Kai-shek on her tour of America. When first lady Eleanor Roosevelt insisted the AP send a female reporter to cover her news conferences, Edith was assigned to the task.
Edith and her father, E.K. Gaylord, shared the same birthday
In 1944, Edith was elected president of the National Women’s Press Club, and served as secretary of Mrs. Roosevelt’s press conference committee and media liaison between her and the press. She also covered other notable events, including the death of Franklin Roosevelt, the new first lady Bess Truman and the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in London.
Edith returned to Oklahoma City and rejoined the family business in 1963, serving as a member of the board of directors and corporate secretary for The Oklahoma Publishing Company.