Muriel Dobbin
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Muriel is the daughter of the late Mr & Mrs George Dobbin who owned a retail drapery business and also ran a shoe shop in the High Street in Maybole.

After obtaining her Highers at Carrick Academy in 1949 she joined the Ayrshire Post as a reporter, and during a visit to the United States she worked briefly for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle before returning to Ayr to pursue a career in journalism as a freelance reporter. In 1957 she was recruited by the Baltimore Sun as a feature writer and was then transferred in 1963 to the Sun’s Washington bureau as the first woman in a staff of 15 men in time to cover the Kennedy assassination in Dallas.

She was assigned to the White House during the presidencies of Johnson, Nixon and Ford and covered the Watergate scandal throughout.

In 1978 she was sent to the West Coast of America to take charge of the bureau there, covering 12 states on her own, for the subsequent 10 years during which time she married her husband who was the foreign correspondent of the Los Angeles Times covering Asia.

Sadly he developed a terminal illness and she relinquished her job to look after him and following his death she was invited to work  in the Washington Bureau of the McClatchy newspaper chain quartered in Sacramento which owns a dozen newspapers nationwide. She is now back to covering the White House, now covering national politics. Muriel has written four books, her favourite being the one about a vampire running for the Presidency of the United States! She is now working on a sequel.

Muriel Dobbin presently West Coast correspondent for U.S. News and World Report was West Coast bureau chief for the Baltimore Sun and before that, White House correspondent. She was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, and now lives in San Francisco.
(Photo and text from the fly leaf of one of Muriel's books.)

She has no direct surviving relatives in Maybole except the widow of a cousin, the late Robert Blackley. Her current whereabouts were discovered when a reunion of former Carrick Academy pupils was being organised.

Story above contributed by Herbert Kay.

Muriel Dobbin retires in 2004 after a pioneering, 55-year newspaper career. Photograph by Ryan K. Morris.  Story from McClatchy Employee Magazine.

You wonder how Muriel Dobbin, a national writer in McClatchy’s Washington Bureau, would craft her own profile if given the assignment on the eve of her retirement at the end of the year.

This is a journalist, after all, who has profiled the most important figures in modern American politics – from Jacqueline Kennedy to George W. Bush. This is a reporter who, over much of her 55-year newspaper career, has held a front-row ticket to American history, covering events and issues that include the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the Vietnam War and the Iraq war, Watergate and Monica Lewinsky.

Her own story does not lack for color and quirks – elements for which her profiles and writing are renowned. Dobbin became an unwitting journalism pioneer in the early 1960s when, as an experiment, The Baltimore Sun sent her to Washington as the first female member of its prestigious Washington bureau. The bureau was staffed by 15 men when she arrived and she joined an early group of women allowed into the hallowed ranks of the Washington press corps. The rest of the story here.

The rest of the story in pdf file format here.