Two Remarkable Women

This past week, I had obituaries printed in The New York Times for two very different, very accomplished women: Marie Fredriksson and Rose Mackenberg.

Marie Fredriksson was one-half of Roxette, the Swedish pop group that was intensely successful in the United States between 1989 and 1991; she died on Monday after a long illness. I shared the byline with Iliana Magra, a Times reporter based in London. “Swedish critics said we’d never make it, but they were wrong,” Fredriksson said in 1990.

Rose Mackenberg died in 1968; she was a professional debunker of phony psychics whose work led her to collaborate with Harry Houdini and to testify before the United States Congress. She was also described as a “ghost-buster” decades before I imagined that word was ever used. The article was part of the exceptional “Overlooked” series at the Times, edited by Amy Padnani.

Inspirational wisdom from Mackenberg, circa 1949: “I smell a rat before I smell the incense.”

posted 13 December 2019 in Articles and tagged , . no comments yet

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