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Sylvia Porter

America's Original Personal Finance Columnist

by Tracy Lucht

Publication Year: 2013

Sylvia Porter (1913–1991) was the nation’s first personal finance columnist and one of the most admired women of the twentieth century. In Sylvia Porter: America’s Original Personal Finance Columnist, Lucht traces Porter’s professional trajectory, identifying her career strategies and exploring the role of gender in her creation of a once-unique, now-ubiquitous form of journalism. A pioneer for both male and female journalists, Porter established a genre of newspaper writing that would last into the twenty-first century while carving a space for women in what had been an almost exclusively male field.

Published by: Syracuse University Press

Cover, Inside Flap

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pp. 1-2

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, About the Author

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pp. 3-8

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xvi

Success is fulfi llment, something you feel within yourself. I see This project has benefite d from the perspectives of many scholars and reviewers over the years. I am deeply indebted to Maurine Beasley at the University of Maryland, the leading historian of women and journal-ism. Maurine blazed a trail many would follow, and I feel incredibly for-...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-16

In 1942 t he dir ect or s of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) met to discuss who should be allowed on the fl oor of the exchange. The exchange fl oor was dirty, scuffed by the shoes of men racing one another for shares of the American dream. The furious trading that took place there resembled a testosterone-fueled scrum. The environment was ...

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1. Wall Street Crusader

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pp. 17-52

Sylv ia Port er was born Sarianni Feldman on June 18, 1913, in Patch-ogue, Long Island, the only daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants. Louis Feldman, a physician, and his wife, Rose Maisel Feldman, eventually settled the family in Brooklyn, where they raised Porter and her older brother, John, to appreciate music, history, and literature. ?We talked from ...

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2. Glamour Girl of Finance

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pp. 53-83

...women and fi nance, which happened frequently, Sylvia Porter liked to tell the story of her encounter with the Wisconsin Bankers Association in June 1940. She had been invited to speak at the group?s annual meet-ing but could tell from the correspondence she received that the group?s leaders assumed S. F. Porter, the esteemed big-city fi nancial columnist, ...

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3. Expert with an Empire

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pp. 84-112

The il lustration on th e cover of Time magazine?s November 28, 1960, issue portrayed a young-looking Porter as she might have appeared in the 1930s: hair upswept, wearing a beret and an art deco necklace, in front of a vague cityscape resembling Park Row in Manhattan. But while the Time cover might have appeared to celebrate the early years of Por-...

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Images

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pp. 113-118

Photographer Jack Sheaffer captured this portrait of Porter on January 6, 1962, while she was traveling in Tucson, Arizona. It soon became the headshot for her column. Courtesy of University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections, MS435, ?Anything I am is due to my mother. I am living her life!? Porter said of Rose Maisel Feldman, shown in an undated personal photo. Used with ...

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4. Presidential Adviser

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pp. 119-143

Despite Port er?s vested interest in economic policy?and her role in designing and promoting U.S. savings bonds?she had steadfastly maintained her independence as a journalist. She believed she could remain objective even as she advised Treasury secretaries and cultivated sources on Wall Street, but she worried her readers would perceive her as ...

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5. Brand Name

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pp. 144-162

As t he economic t umul t of the seventies continued, Porter?s career gathered steam and increased in volatility. Now a legendary columnist and bestselling author, Porter received at least 2,000 letters a week from readers and received more requests for television and radio bookings than she could possibly accept.1 She was invited to host a radio program three ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 163-166

When I began t his project years ago, I had a working theory about Sylvia Porter?s development of personal fi nance journalism. My theory was that in order to gain public acceptance as a woman writing about money, Porter had played into traditional gender norms by focusing her writing on homes and families after World War II. I thought she had ...

Abbreviations

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pp. 167-170

Notes

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pp. 171-202

Bibliography

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pp. 203-218

Index

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pp. 219-230

Back Flap, Back Cover

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pp. 231-232


E-ISBN-13: 9780815652496
E-ISBN-10: 0815652496
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815610298
Print-ISBN-10: 0815610297

Page Count: 248
Illustrations: 7 black and white
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: New York State
Series Editor Byline: N/A

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Subject Headings

  • Journalists -- United States -- Biography.
  • Finance, Personal.
  • Porter, Sylvia Field, 1913-.
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