Jean Graham Powell

It's nuts to me how little there is on the interwebs about folks that are 15-20 years gone.  My aunt Jean (technically great aunt, never called her that, though) was with the Washington Star in one capacity or another from the sixties until its doors closed in 1981.  She is unknown to Google, and in this, the week of her 85th birthday, I'm changing that, with a pic of Jean taken by Star staff photographer Ray Lustig in 1968.  She's been dead just over 20 years now, but here she is, on the internet, forever:

Jean would take me up the east coast to comic conventions (New York!  Philly!  New York!), she was a total funnybook enabler.  She lived in an apartment building with a 7-11 a flight of stairs away.  A 7-11 with a spinner rack.  Not 20 footsteps from her front door.  I could buy comics IN MY JAMMIES.  Good times, great aunt.

Happy birthday, Jean.

Update, 3/18/13

Let down by my scant knowledge of Jean's career, I contacted Jean's BFF and fellow Star staffer Barbara Kober and got this back:

"Jean was a general reporter in the Portfolio features section of The Star.  And later an editor of the Saturday section.  She was chosen for that job because she understood how to use color in a newspaper, which was fairly new at the time.  She was also a master of good writing, and always-- unlike most editors and reporters-- kept a dictionary on her desk.
Because of her experience at the Raleigh News & Observer she knew the fashion business as well as any fashion editor.  When I had to edit, actually rewrite, the copy of The Star fashion editor, who couldn't write her way out of a plastic bag, Jean had to edit me because I knew nothing about fashion.  And she always managed to make the story better."
And the best part: "...her favorite meal in the fancy French restaurants we often went to was jambon et le grits."  Jean Powell, classy ham & grits girl.

Here's a shot of the Star newsroom, Jean is seated three in from the right, and that's Barbara at her side.  And below that, just because it's great, is a shot of Jean (and loads of photographer finger) in Barcelona, 1971.


  1. Nice tribute to Aunt Jean, Sandy. Thanks to Barbara too, for filling in some blanks for me as well. And the pictures, priceless.
    The Crystal Towers 7-11 was not only excellent for spinning funnybooks, but a Slurpee every day too. In my jammies :)


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