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On this day in 2000 ...

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Marvel Jackson Cooke dies at the age of 99.

Born in Mankato in 1901, Cooke was a pioneer of women and African Americans in journalism, working for such publications as The People's Voice, The Amsterdam News, and The Crisis.

She attended the University of Minnesota and got the job in Harlem at The Crisis, the NAACP's magazine, to work for famed editor and author W.E.B. Dubois, who was also a well-known civil rights activist.

Cooke was later hired by The Daily Compass, owned by well-funded white man Ted Thackery, former editor of the New York Post.

The paper was mainstream, but lacked women and African Americans on its staff, and when Cooke was hired, she would become known as the first African-American female to work as a reporter for a mainstream paper with white ownership.

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