English and Journalism
Jane Eads (1901-1991)
By Bill Knight
Jane Eads was born in Harvey, Ill., before her family moved to Ft. Madison, Iowa, Peoria, and finally Quincy, where her journalism career began in 1918, when the Quincy Whig/Journal hired her as a proofreader, then a Sunday supplement editor.
After stints at a couple of suburban Chicago papers, Eads covered the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and other crime in Chicago, where she was a reporter for William Randolph Hearst’s Herald Examiner. Following her coverage of the first transcontinental commercial flight in the late ‘20s, she joined the Associated Press in New York, then Europe, where one of her scoops was King Edward VIII’s romance with American socialite Wallis Warfield Simpson.
In the late ‘30s, she returned to the United States and covered Washington society for a Hearst news service before joining the Washington Times-Herald.
Eads said by the end of her 30-year career—which concluded with a 12-year run for her daily AP column, “Washington Letter”—she ultimately “got the same kinds of assignments as male reporters.”