June 18, 2019

Georgie Anne Geyer, Foreign Correspondent and Columnist, Dies at 84

Georgie Anne Geyer, Foreign Correspondent and Columnist, Dies at 84


Ms. Geyer often turned up on public-affairs programs, like PBS’s “Washington Week in Review,” as well as on the college lecture circuit. In 2000, writing a new preface for a reissue of her autobiography, she noted that young people would often ask her how she “controls” her interviews with notable figures.

“I have to tell them that the way you control your interviews (or any other part of your work) is to know more about the subject than the other person does,” she wrote. “This advice, as you can well imagine, is seldom greeted with deafening applause.”

Georgie Anne Geyer was born on April 2, 1935, in Chicago, to Robert and Georgie Hazel Geyer (acquiring her nickname from the way she pronounced her first name as a baby).

Her father ran a dairy business. Her mother had taught her to read and write by the time she was 4 and, as she wrote, “laid the foundation for the curiosity that drove me to Siberia, up the Tapajoz and down to Abu Dhabi.”

A formative experience came in 1956 when, after graduating from Northwestern University with a journalism degree, she went to Vienna on a Fulbright scholarship. She was there when revolution broke out in neighboring Hungary. She and other students went by bus to the border. “The people fleeing across those snowy hills,” she wrote, “had the empty, searching faces of refugees everywhere.”

Returning to Chicago, she worked at The Southtown Economist in Chicago before moving to The Daily News in 1960. An early assignment there, she wrote, involved infiltrating a Mafia wedding disguised as a waitress.

Ms. Geyer was given a chance to report from Latin America in 1964. It was the beginning of a string of assignments that took her to Peru, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala — where she spent a week with leftist guerrillas in the midst of a civil war — and, in 1966, Cuba, where few outside reporters had been admitted. She had her first of several meetings with Castro.



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