Gretta Palmer

A Brief Biography

Gretta Palmer went to the Mediterranean in the summer of the 1944 on a Reader's Digest assignment to write the story of "the kind of peace beginning to emerge" in the liberated areas. "This looked to be so very depressing an article," she says, "that rather than turn Cassandra, I attached myself to the Army and covered the liberation of Florence and the Southern France invasion."

In the spring of 1945 she went on to the Durma-India and China theaters. She spent six months in West China and entered Shanghai on September 2 with the second plane load of Americans to reach the city, when it was still in Japanese military hands. In mid-September she moved down to the Southeast Asia Command, and Java. She found there a story of civil war whose significance, she feels, was drowned out in the excessive flood of news as she witnessed it in Indochina, that she tells in the powerful article that follows.

"Knowing that the story of the wars of independence of Southeast Asia was going unrecorded in America," Gretta Palmer writes in a memo to the editors, "I returned home across the Pacific in December of 1945 with the specific purpose of telling the truth to the key men in Washington and New York. I arrived at the humbling conclusion that reporters have much to learn about the arts of lobbying from the professionals around the Carlton bar."

Re-oriented to some extent, Gretta Palmer has resumed her normal work of writing articles about different phases of the domestic scene for the Reader's Digest, Comopolitan, Ladies' Home Journal, and other magazines. She has been a contributor to all of these for the past ten years. Before that she was woman's page editor an daily columnist for the New York World woman's page ditor and daily columnist for the New York World Telegram. Before that, she was a staff writer of the New Yorker.

Born an brought up in St. Louis, Missouri, Gretta Palmer graduated from Vassar College in 1925. She is a member of the board of Governors of the Overseas Press Club of America.

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