Cub Reporter Who Scooped Start of WWII Dies at 105

Clare Hollingworth had been on the job less than a week when she saw Germans on Poland's border
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2017 11:49 AM CST
Cub Reporter Who Scooped Start of WWII Dies at 105
A guest displays a newspaper copy to Clare Hollingworth, right, a former British foreign correspondent at her birthday party at Hong Kong's Foreign Correspondents' Club on Oct. 10, 2016.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

A young reporter for the Daily Telegraph was journeying from Poland to Germany in August 1939 when she spotted what would turn out to be the "scoop of the century": German troops huddled along the border, per the BBC. Adolf Hitler invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, jump-starting World War II, and although Clare Hollingworth's Telegraph story on those troops didn't cite her by name (articles often didn't have bylines back then), it was her reporting coup. Hollingworth died Tuesday in Hong Kong, her home for more than three decades, at the age of 105, a family friend confirmed to AFP, via the Guardian. "We are sad to announce that after an illustrious career spanning a century of news, celebrated war correspondent Clare Hollingworth died this evening in Hong Kong," a post on the Celebrate Clare Hollingworth Facebook page read.

The headline that accompanied her breaking story in the Telegraph, after she'd been on the job for less than a week, read "1,000 tanks massed on Polish border—Ten divisions reported ready for swift [action]." She also scooped the Nazis spilling over into Poland a few days later, as well as penned an exclusive on British spy Kim Philby in 1963, though the Guardian didn't run it for fear of being sued for libel. Her reporting work took her all over the world, including to conflicts in Vietnam, the Middle East, and China. She even came close to death in 1946 when she was just yards away from a bomb blast in Jerusalem that killed almost 100 people. She nabbed the James Cameron Award for Journalism in 1994, as well as other reporting honors. She's survived by a stepdaughter, Hilary, as well as a niece, Jennifer, and a nephew, Richard. The Guardian delves more into her fascinating life. (More obituary stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.