Friends remember Moulton

May 28, 2004 at 10:00 PM
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ARLINGTON, Va., May 28 (UPI) -- Friends of Charlotte G. Moulton on Friday remembered the former United Press International Supreme Court correspondent as a pioneer woman journalist.

Moulton, 91, died May 7 at Goodwin House West retirement center in Falls Church, Va. Friends gathered Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington for a memorial service.

Moulton, born April 8, 1913, in the Boston suburb of Dorchester, went to work for the War Department in 1940 and began work with United Press Associations, a forerunner of UPI, in 1942.

UP assigned her to cover the Supreme Court full-time in 1949, and except for 18 months as a general assignment reporter and night desk editor, she covered the court until retiring in 1978.

Journalist Cheryl Arvidson of Falls Church, who worked at UPI from 1969 to 1980 in Iowa and Washington, D.C., said Moulton was a role model for women entering the field. She noted Moulton got her job at United Press during World War II, when many men went into the military.

"She kept her job (after the war) because she was so good," Arvidson said.

As a young reporter working in UPI's Des Moines, Iowa, bureau, Arvidson said, she drew inspiration by seeing the bylines of two women in important jobs in Washington.

"Every day I'd see the bylines of Charlotte Moulton and (White House correspondent) Helen Thomas," she said.

Thomas, now a columnist with Hearst Newspapers in Washington, was unable to attend the memorial but said of Moulton: "Charlotte was a gem; highest integrity in reporting, a true wire service correspondent who covered the courts for years and was meticulous and always right in her interpretation of decisions. She was one in a million."

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