WHILE SHE WAS HAVING FUN ON ‘WHAT'S MY LINE,’ Dorothy Kilgallen became the most famous columnist in America. She often eclipsed the stars she wrote about. When she attended the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1952, she wore a silver gown with 14,000 embroidered jewels and pearls that were encrusted at the scalloped neckline. She placed a tiara on her head, put on her white mink cape lined with silver lame, grabbed her Western Union copy paper and headed off to Westminster Abbey. She won a Pulitzer nomination.
Dorothy and her family also moved into a five-story townhouse on Park Avenue. It was an elegant setting, with chandeliers, French doors, original art and furniture out of ‘Gone with the Wind.’ The Kolmar’s were known for their glittering parties.
Dorothy worked and slept in a room on the fifth floor she called ‘the Cloop.’ It was her sanctuary, and she did not permit anyone else to be around her there. It had chartreuse carpeting, flowered wallpaper, and embroidered organdie curtains tied back with taffeta bows. She told her dad ‘I like pretty things,’ and her father, Jim, smiled when he recalled, ‘the room was an index to her character. Even when she was a cub reporter at $20 a week, she was a spender and inclined to extravagance. Her expense accounts were high and her personal taxi bills exceeded her weekly income!’
But her father recalled ‘she had an unerring instinct for news. She had a brilliant style of writing. She was accurate and. Had a flair for the apt phrase. ‘She had an uncanny ability to produce scoops and an inordinate speed in turning out copy...
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