EXPIRED: 08/12/09 – Mary Morris Lawrence, 95, could get someone’s life story in 10 minutes. The Chicago native was one of the Associated Press’ 1st female photographers, working mostly in features. She often shot the Yankees & got standing ovations when she walked onto the field in a skirt.
Morris described herself as a “groundbreaker,” and recalled male colleagues at the AP joking that they would no longer be able to change their pants in the darkroom.
Morris worked at AP for 3 ½ years before leaving in 1940. She went on to work for the New York tabloid PM. Later she moved to California to photograph celebrities. Her subjects included Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry Fonda, Marilyn Monroe, Leonard Bernstein, Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart, Salvador Dali and Orson Welles. Her work appeared in magazines Look, Life and Mademoiselle.
Her obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle ends with the suggestion: “In lieu of flowers, Mary would ask you to join the League of Women Voters, shop at Farmer Joes, write a letter to the editor, or break a glass ceiling!”