Sally Glendinning, ex-Evening Sun women's editor

November 26, 1993|By Erik Nelson | Erik Nelson,Staff Writer

Sara W. "Sally" Glendinning, former Evening Sun women's page editor and feature writer with the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune, died Nov. 17 of cancer in her home in Marietta, Ga. She was 80.

Under the name Sally Wilson, Mrs. Glendinning wrote stories for the women's page from the late 1930s through 1946, serving as editor of the page during World War II.

"She was an excellent reporter and a good writer," said Robert B. Cochrane, former general manager of television station WMAR who was a reporter and music critic during much of Mrs. Glendinning's tenure.

News is what she longed to cover, said her daughter, Ann Glendinning, of Marietta, Ga.

"She spent a lot of time covering fashion shows and covering cosmetic lines, which was not much interest to her," the daughter recalled. "She always felt that she had that ink in her veins. She really loved the bustle of a newsroom."

She fulfilled her wish years later in Sarasota, as a feature writer.

Mrs. Glendinning left The Evening Sun in 1946 upon the birth of Ann, her only survivor.

She and her husband, Richard Glendinning, who wrote for popular mystery magazines, moved from Baltimore to Florida in 1948, and settled in Sarasota in 1950. Mr. Glendinning died in 1988.

In 1962, she had resumed her newspaper career at the Herald-Tribune, where she stayed until her retirement in 1982.

She was mainly a feature writer, but for a time covered the education beat and near the end of her career wrote a weekly wrap-up of national and international news.

While working at the paper, both she and her husband wrote children's books, some of them collaborative efforts.

Mrs. Glendinning's best known children's work was probably a series of about 20 stories about the black and white friends, Jimmy and Joe.

The stories accompanied second-grade readers and were used to help deal with school integration during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

She also wrote biographies for older schoolchildren, including works on England's Queen Victoria and painter Thomas Gainsborough.

Born Sara Helena Wilson in Lincoln, Ala., Mrs. Glendinning grew up in Anniston, Ala. She received a bachelor's degree in 1933 from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ala., and a journalism degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism in 1934. She spent her junior year of college studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. She also worked for a short time at a newspaper in Atlanta.

During her youth, Mrs. Glendinning played jazz piano and piloted small airplanes.

At Columbia University, Mrs. Glendinning enrolled in the English master's degree program, but became disenchanted after a run-in over her thesis.

"She wanted to write her master's thesis on Gertrude Stein, but her thesis adviser said that Gertrude Stein was a nobody who would never amount to anything and told her to instead write it on Thomas Pynchon," Mrs. Glendinning's daughter said.

"So she did the research, and promptly put it in a drawer."

"She was pretty much disenchanted with the whole higher education process, and she walked by the door of the Columbia School of Journalism and saw how much fun they were having, so she decided to join them."

The daughter said that Mrs. Glendinning asked that that there be no services, a wish that is being honored.

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