Dorothy May Love Grover, 98, worked at Daily News, Inquirer

Posted: August 29, 2012

BACK IN THE '30s, the newspaper business was dominated by men, tough, cigar-chomping characters right out of "The Front Page," barking into telephones and bullying copy boys.

In this rarefied atmosphere of masculinity, Dorothy May Love found her place as reporter, writer and editor, winning the respect of her colleagues and bosses, first with the Daily News and then with the Inquirer.

Dorothy May Love Grover, as she became after marrying William O. Grover, a writer and editor for the Inquirer and Evening Bulletin, died Aug. 27 of congestive heart failure. She was 98 and lived in the Simpson House, 2101 Belmont Ave., but had lived for 60 years in Sharon Hill, where she was active in school and community affairs.

After her newspaper career, Dorothy wrote freelance articles on travel for the New York Times and features for the Philharmonic Hall, a Lincoln Center publication, and Opera Times.

She also appeared on the television show "What's My Line?"

Her stint at the Daily News included writing an advice column for teenagers called "Now That You Asked Me." She wrote under the name Dorothy Daw, believing that the name Love might not have been appropriate. She also wrote movie and theater reviews and did general-assignment reporting.

Dorothy went to work for the Inquirer in 1937 as a general-assignment reporter. One of her assignments was to do profiles of police- and fire-department members who had received Inquirer Hero Awards.

A series she wrote on syphilis was made into a booklet used by social workers at Philadelphia General Hospital.

Reporters often get to meet prominent people and celebrities. Dorothy met Fredric March, Eddie Cantor and Jean Harlow, movie stars of yesteryear. In fact, Harlow took a liking to her and invited her to a promotional tour.

"Come on, we'll have a lot of laughs," the legendary star told her. But Dorothy had to decline.

Dorothy spent a year as editor and photographic designer of an Inquirer section that used an old printing process called rotogravure. She left the paper in 1940.

She married William Grover in 1942. He served in the Navy during World War II. He was a reporter and editor for the Inquirer before joining the Bulletin as night city editor. He died in 1985.

Dorothy was a founder and cochairwoman of the old American Newspaper Guild School of Journalism.

She single-handedly raised her three oldest children while her husband was in the Navy.

"She was an ideal mom," said her son Robert O. Grover, himself a former newspaperman and journalism teacher. "There was a happiness about her," he said. "She was always humming, and on key. Sort of a 'whistle-while-you-work' kind of thing.

"She was my musical mentor. She took me to the Academy of Music to hear Benny Goodman playing with the Philadelphia Orchestra. She took me backstage, and I got his autograph."

When Robert put together a rock 'n' roll band, she tolerated it practicing in her house. Her house was also a gathering place for family, friends and neighbors. No one left the house without a "care package" of cookies or snacks.

Dorothy was born in Philadelphia and raised in Delaware County. She attended the Pusey Avenue School in Collingdale, the Sharon Hill School and Lincoln Preparatory School.

At Beaver College - now Arcadia University - she majored in English. Later she edited the Beaver College Alumni Journal.

She taught folk dancing to Girl Scouts, at public schools and at the Holy Child Academy and Holy Spirit Elementary School. She was a substitute teacher and librarian at elementary and high schools in Sharon Hill, Darby, Colwyn and Lansdowne.

Dorothy was a longtime member of the Sharon Hill Home and School Association, the Sharon Hill Historical Society and the Sharon Hill Literary Group. In 1950, she was named the first secretary of the new Sharon Hill Recreation Board.

Besides her son, she is survived by another son, Henry L. Grover; a daughter, Mary Louise Krauss; three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by another daughter, Eleanor P. Grover.

Services: Were being arranged.


Contact John F. Morrison at morrisj@phillynews.com or 215-854-5573.

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