Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Nan Robertson died yesterday at 83, apparently of heart disease. Robertson is best known for a vivid recounting of her battle with toxic shock syndrome in the Times Magazine, which netted her the Pulitzer in 1983, and The Girls in the Balcony, a book about women at the paper fighting for equality in the 1970s. Robertson worked at the Times for 30 years before retiring in 1988.
Though Robertson found herself a second-class citizen in Washington, DC, in the '60s, she had fond memories of the Times’ New York newsroom and her status there. “Nan, you write like a man,” was a favorite compliment, notes the Los Angeles Times. Her bout with toxic shock left her without the tips of eight fingers, but she fought through her despair to return to her work. “My deepest fear did not materialize,” she wrote in her article. “I have written it—at last—with my own hands.”