The United States Postal Service will release a stamp next spring honoring a native Missourian.
St. Louis native Martha Gellhorn was one of the world’s renowned war correspondents who covered every war from the Spanish Civil War in the mid 30s through the Panama invasion. She wanted to cover the conflict in Bosnia but complained her advancing years did not leave her sprightly enough to cover another war.
She always seemed to take sides in her reporting, writing on the side of those who were suffering. She told a BBC interviewer in 1993 that objective reporting, to her, would have been rubbish and boring. "If you are seeing something happening," she said, "the idea that you are so brain dead and stony-hearted that you have no reaction to it strikes me as absolute nonsense."
She was willing to leave objective reporting to the news agencies. Gellhorn also was a widely-read novelist and travel writer. For a few years she was the wife of former Kansas City Star reporter Ernest Hemingway. But it is her character as a reporter, described by some as "fearless," that puts her on the stamp. How fearless? She did not have press credentials to witness the D-Day landings. So she impersonated a stretcher bearer and was with the first wave of troops to go ashore.
She was one of the first journalists to see the horrors of the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, an experience that she later said "changed everything" for her and made her a life-long champion of Israel.
Gellhorn committed suicide in 19-98, on the verge of losing a long battle with cancer.