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Gwen GibsonAn old-time journalist, Gwen Gibson has covered everything in her long career from police beats and riots to Congress and the White House. (The similarities were striking. )  Proud to be of “that certain age,” Gibson was born in a small Oklahoma town at the advent of the Great Depression and the Jazz Age, when the living was grim and the music great. She was reared in Oklahoma City by her mother, a talented hair stylist and wannabe writer.  She launched her long career in jourrnalism as a reporter (read: factotum) for the now-defunct Oklahoma City Times. She worked at the Times by day and attended classes at night offered by Oklahoma City University.

Hired in early 1950 by United Press International, Gibson worked as a general assignment reporter for UPI bureaus in Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Dallas, Denver and Washington, D.C. In 1958, she was hired to work in the Washington bureau of the New York Daily News as a reporter and columnist. During the John F. Kennedy administration, Gibson covered many White House events and presidential trips.

She moved to New York in 1964 with her first husband, jazz and classical pianist Sidney Schwartz, and worked as a general assignment reporter for the New York Herald Tribune. She also contributed to New York magazine, then the Tribune’s Sunday supplement. When the Tribune folded, Gibson became a full-time freelance writer, contributing to New York, the Sunday edition of the New York Daily News and the Peter Wyden publishing company. She hastily wrote two books and chapters in other books for this start-up company as it struggled to build a backlog.  An aspiring lyricist, Gibson also wrote satirical lyrics for songs composed by Schwartz. Some were used in off-off-off Broadway comedy shows and two were actually published. 

Gibson has continued to freelance for national newspapers and magazines through the years while holding some full-time jobs along the way. These included one year as staff writer for the American Association of Training and Development. Although a “yellow dog Democrat,” she also worked one year as staff writer for Sen. Larry Pressler, then a “moderate” Republican. For Pressler, she wrote newsletters and op-ed pieces and contributed to Pressler’s book, U.S. Senators from the Prairie.

In the 1980s and 1990s, she worked full-time as senior reporter for Maturity News Service, a mini-wire service subsidized by AARP. Gibson’s second husband, Grant Dillman, was a talented journalist who served as vice president of UPI during its heyday.  Gibson moved to Austin after Dillman’s death to be near her daughter and  granddaughter. From Austin, she continues to freelance for newspapers and magazines.

On her blog she covers events of special interest while writing whimsical columns about life in le troisieme age, i.e., “The Lighter Years.”  

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