Sally Bixby Defty - 2013

She joined the Post-Dispatch staff in January 1965, but with no newspaper experience, she started out in the women’s section. After three years there, two as editor, she achieved her goal, becoming the first permanent female member of the city desk staff.

She was a proud general assignment reporter, relishing the variety in doing straight news, features and investigative reporting. For her work on arson-for insurance in St. Louis she received the first of several Pulitzer Prize nominations and was a finalist. She spent a summer in the paper’s Washington Bureau and covered several national political conventions.  She was named executive city editor but stepped down after a year, citing the demands on a divorced mother of three children. She worked several years on the copy desk, enabling her to spend her final three years on the Post-Dispatch going to night school at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, getting a master’s in English, specializing in teaching English as a second language. She took an incentive offer for early retirement in the fall of 1995.