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Nancy Dickerson, the First Lady of TV News

'On Her Trail'

When Katie Couric took up residence at CBS in September, she was heralded as the first female solo anchor of an evening news broadcast on American network television. Forty-six years earlier, the network had hired its first female TV reporter, Nancy Dickerson.

Dickerson, the trail-blazing predecessor to Couric, Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters, was the first woman to break into the all-male Washington TV news corps. She was also the only woman covering many of the iconic events of the sixties, including Martin Luther King Jr.'s march on Washington and the presidential campaign in 1960.

Her youngest son, John Dickerson, the chief political correspondent for the online magazine Slate, has published a new book about his pioneering mother — a woman he didn't know very well. The two had a rocky relationship throughout most of their lives, reconciling only shortly before her death in 1997. On Her Trail: My Mother, Nancy Dickerson, TV News' First Woman Star is a frank depiction of a glamorous TV correspondent and, through a son's eyes, an often absent mother.

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John Dickerson