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May 6, 1889|
Rock Springs, Wyoming, U.S.
|Died||April 27, 1970
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Holy Cross Cemetery|
|Alma mater||University of Washington|
|Occupation||Reporter, newspaper columnist and author|
|Spouse(s)||Denis A. "Denny" Morrison (m.?; died 1966)|
Florabel Muir (May 6, 1889 – April 27, 1970) was an American reporter, newspaper columnist and author. She became known for covering both Hollywood celebrities and underworld gangsters from the 1920s through the 1960s.
Muir was born in the mining town of Rock Springs, Wyoming. She was one of ten children born to David and Christina Muir. She attended the University of Washington in Seattle, where she worked as the assistant editor of a student paper. After graduation, she briefly worked as a teacher before quitting to pursue a career as a newspaper reporter. She began her professional newspaper career at The Salt Lake Herald after convincing the city editor to break with tradition and hire their first female reporter. Eventually, she moved to The Salt Lake Tribune where she was, again, their first female reporter. After brief stints at other papers, she went to work for the New York Daily News as a police reporter in 1927.
In 1934, she attempted to quit her newspaper career and become a fiction writer. However, she received and accepted an offer from the New York Post. Later, she and her husband left for Hollywood after receiving an offer to write screenplays at Fox. She is credited with one screenplay, Fighting Youth (1935), produced by Universal Studios.
She went back to the Daily News as their Los Angeles correspondent when her former editor was having trouble covering a story in Hollywood. While still writing for the Daily News, she also contributed stories to the Saturday Evening Post, The Los Angeles Mirror, and began writing a column for Daily Variety. She also hosted programs on radio and television (KFI).
Muir was injured during a shooting attempt on the life of mobster Mickey Cohen at Sherry's restaurant on the Sunset Strip at 3:55 a.m. on July 20, 1949. Cohen was struck in the shoulder. Three others were also wounded, including Cohen henchman Edward "Neddie" Herbert, who later died from his wounds, Harry Cooper, a bodyguard assigned by California State Attorney General Frederick N. Howser to protect Cohen, and Dee David, a young Hollywood movie starlet who was Cohen's dinner guest earlier that evening. Muir was struck in the backside when a slug ricocheted and left a large bruise. Her first instinct was to call the Mirror and get a photographer to the scene while her husband screamed for her to get down. She was also a confidant of Cohen and enlisted her husband to improve Cohen's reading and vocabulary skills.
In 1950, she released her memoirs, Headline Happy.
- Muir, Florabel (1950). Headline Happy. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
- Buntin, John (2009). L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City. New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 9780307352071. OCLC 431334523.
- Lieberman, Paul (2012). Gangster Squad: Covert Cops, the Mob, and the Battle for Los Angeles. Macmillan. p. 153. ISBN 1-250-02011-5.
- "The Press: Florabel". time.com. November 1, 1944. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
- Lieberman 2012 pp.153-154
- Los Angeles Times, Gang Guns Wound Cohen. July 20, 1949, p.1
- Long Beach Independent, July 21, 1949, pp. 1, 32.
- "Florabel Muir". The Los Angeles Times. April 28, 1970. p. A4.
- Murray, Dan (October 7, 1966). "The Last Word". Scholastic. 108 (2): 34.