Clare Hollingworth
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Even as the world continues to learn and embrace the fact that women are indeed, human beings too, with several women finally getting a chance to show what they are capable of in equal and fair capacity alongside men, it is good to remember it is a fight that has been fought for decades. Women who have had the courage and tenacity to fight for their chance have accomplished a lot over the past couple of decades, such as Clare Hollingworth, a journalist who broke the news of the advent of World War II. Other than her stellar professional journalism career, she also managed to live up to 105 years old, several years above the human average. Learn more about Clare Hollingworth below.

Who Exactly is Clare Hollingworth?

On the 10th of October, 1911, in the southern suburb of Leicester, a family welcomed the little girl that would break the news of the biggest and most important war of the century. Her parents were Daisy Hollingworth and Albert Hollingworth. At a time when the quality of life was quite poor, Clare Hollingworth was lucky to have been born into a family that had a sustainable source of income. Her father was the owner of a footwear factory which gave her the opportunity for a good education, through which she fell in love with writing. Through her father, she also fell in love with warfare – two things that would define her legacy. Despite her mother’s efforts to domesticate her, including sending her to a domestic science college in Leicester, she stuck to her love for the ‘man’s profession’.

Another attempt to domesticate her through marriage failed. She got engaged to a son of a family in her local community, but it failed with her choosing to work as a secretary for the League of Nations Union instead. Through her work at LNU, she won a scholarship and attended UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies.

Her journalistic and writing career began professionally for New Statesman. She initially wrote as a freelance writer. She also worked as a political operative for the Labour Party in 1939 before she headed to Warsaw where she worked with displaced Czech refuges. While she was in Warsaw, she helped several people escape the growing oppression of Hitler by helping them procure British visas. Her experience in Warsaw, combined with her writing talents got her, her first job as a journalist for The Daily Telegraph in 1939.

Shortly after getting employed by The Daily Telegraph in August 1939, she got an opportunity to travel to Poland and report on the social and political tensions that grew in Europe. Her trip to Poland gave her the chance to witness the invasion of Poland by German troops. Her report of the incident became the defining report that announced the beginning of World War II to the world.

Throughout her career, her passion for warfare became the defining trait that made her stand out among other war correspondents. She went on to report on several conflicts around the world, from Vietnam to China to Algeria.

Clare Hollingworth
Clare Hollingworth with well-wishers on her 104th birthday

She lived and died in Hong Kong on the 10th of January 2017 after an illustrious career, which saw her work for several other notable publications such as The Economist, The Guardian, The Observer.

5 Facts You Need to Know About Clare Hollingworth

Clare was married twice

Clare Hollingworth got married to Vandeleur for her first marriage in 1936. The marriage, however, did not last and they got divorced in 1951. In the very same year, she married Geoffrey Hare. She was married to him until his death in 1965. She never had children.

She was an author

Apart from being a journalist whose words were craved by readers all over the western hemisphere, she was also an author. She wrote and published four books, with the fifth book being her memoir, which was released in 1990.

She received a national honor

Her exemplary work in journalism and fearlessness earned her an Order of the British Empire award in 1982, The award, which was conferred by Queen Elizabeth II was given to her for her services to journalism.

Clare Hollingworth was a world traveler

As an international journalist, Clare Hollingworth spent the majority of her time traveling across many countries. Through her career, she visited at least 10 different countries across 4 major continents.

She was the last person to interview the Shah of Iran

The last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was the last interviewed by Clare. The Shah specifically requested for her. She retired from active journalism in 1981.