The funeral services for Kathryn Johnson, a pioneering reporter for The Associated Press during the civil rights movement, will be held Wednesday in Atlanta.
Johnson died Oct. 23, at the age of 93. She was known for developing close sources, and was the only journalist allowed inside Martin Luther King Jr.'s home the day he was assassinated.
A visitation is planned for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at H.M. Patterson & Son-Arlington Chapel in Sandy Springs, Georgia. Graveside services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Greenwood Cemetery in Atlanta.
Born in Columbus, Georgia, Johnson graduated from Agnes Scott College, a private, all-woman school in Decatur, Georgia, in 1947. In December of that year, she dropped by the local AP office looking for a job; she was offered a secretarial position.
"I think she was an unknown pioneer in that field," Winters said.
Twelve years later, after the American Newspaper Guild interceded, Johnson was finally given a writing job. She said she got the civil rights beat because the men "did not want to cover a black movement."
"When my aunt was interested in this young preacher named Martin Luther King, the men in journalism didn't want anything to do with a black man and interviewing him," Winters said. "She was just enthralled with the man, before he was famous."
She scored exclusive interviews with 2nd Lt. William L. Calley Jr. before he was convicted of his role in the My Lai massacre.
"I was never ambitious, really, anxious to make money ...," she told an interviewer for an AP oral history project in 2007. Johnson said she didn't want to be bored and added, "in most of my career, I really wasn't."
That career spanned a half-century, from the era of reporters racing each other to pay phones to the birth of 24-hour cable television news.
Associated Press writers Bernard McGhee and Jeff Martin in Atlanta contributed to this report.
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