Vera Glaser was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She was interested in journalism in high school. On the weekends she would visit the newsrooms of the local newspapers, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and St. Louis Globe-Democrat. She graduated from high school first in her class. That position typically meant a scholarship to Washington University. Instead, the honor went to a male who had only been at the school for a year. Decades later, she recalled the snub, writing that experience, plus some workplace discrimination, turned her into “a fighting feminist.”
She married Herbert R. Glaser, an administrative officer with National Labor Relations Board, and in 1947, she gave birth to a daughter, Carol. After a variety of writing and public relations work in 1950s, she became a reporter for the North American Newspaper Alliance in the 1960s. She was one of the first women to be a Washington bureau chief. She had regular interaction with many of the women at the Miami Herald, the newspaper that eventually syndicated her column. She was a good friend of Marie Anderson, mentioned in an earlier post.
In 1971, she was elected the president of the Washington Press Club. (The Washington Press Club was created in 1919 by women journalists, as women were not allowed to be members of the National Press Club.) She was the first president to oversee the Club as men were allowed to become members. The two clubs merged in 1985.
She was a member of President Nixon’s Task Force on Women’s Rights and Responsibilities from 1969 to 1970. This followed a press conference question to Nixon about the lack of women in government. This moment is part of an oral history project.
I have gone through Vera's papers at the University of Wyoming. I plan to write about her partnership with longtime government employee Catherine East. I will be going through Catherine East's papers next week at the Schlesinger Library. I am grateful to the Library for funding this work.