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Mary D. Ferguson

Mary D. Ferguson

2017

An influential trailblazer for women journalists in Western Kentucky, she was one of the state’s longest-serving newspaper writers, becoming the first female reporter for the Kentucky New Era in 1962, later becoming a columnist and writing until her death in 2016, finally by dictation due to brain cancer. She became the face and voice of the Hopkinsville daily, and never aspired to an editor’s or manager’s job, because she knew that reporter was the best job at any newspaper. But she was also an inspiration to many young journalists, the unofficial historian of the Pennyrile region, and a local expert on military news and Fort Campbell. A native of Todd County and graduate of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., she was society editor of the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle and news director for WHOP Radio, reporting live from the field. The New Era’s annual award for most valuable editorial-department employee is named for her.