Joan Riddell Cook

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Joan Riddell Cook
Born January 5, 1922
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Died February 5, 1995
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation American journalist, editor, union leader
Notable credit(s) The New York Times, The Detroit News, New York Herald-Tribune, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Joan Riddell Cook (January 5, 1922 in Portland, Oregon – February 5, 1995[1] in New York City) was an American newspaper journalist and editor, a trade union leader, and a founding director of JAWS (Journalism and Women Symposium). Cook died of breast cancer in 1995 in New York City.

Journalism career[edit]

Cook started her career at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She later left and started working at the New York Herald Tribune. Cook later worked for two years as women's editor at The Detroit News. Cook eventually started working for The New York Times in 1959 where she worked until her retirement in 1991.

Cook was one of seven named plaintiffs in a class action Title VII sex discrimination lawsuit against the Times that was filed in 1974. Cook served as head of the Times unit of the New York City Newspaper Guild labor union and was only the second woman ever elected to the post. Cook also served as President of the Silurians which is the oldest Press Club in New York.

Journalism and Women Symposium[edit]

Cook first joined JAWS (Journalism and Women Symposium) in 1989 and became a member of the first Board of directors. After her death, the Joan Cook Scholarship Fund was created in her honor. It provides yearly grants to young women through JAWS.


Cook was a 1939 graduate of Marlborough School, a prestigious all-girls day and boarding school in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles.


  • Cook is referenced in The Girls in the Balcony: Women, Men, and the New York Times by author Nan C. Robertson and A Place in the News: From the Women's Pages to the Front Page by author Kay Mills.
  1. ^ "Joan R. Cook, 73, Reporter for Times." The New York Times, February 6, 1995

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