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Virginia Cowles
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Virginia Cowles

Virginia Cowles OBE was born in Vermont in 1910. She gravitated to journalism in her youth to earn her living after the death of her mother, writing features for Hearst Newspapers. She became a trailblazing war correspondent for the Sunday Times, reporting from Civil War Spain in 1937 before covering wartime Europe for the BBC and NBC. Cowles wrote up her testimony in Looking for Trouble, a bestseller on publication in 1941, and later reported from North Africa as special assistant to the American Ambassador in London. In 1945, Cowles married Aidan Crawley, a British journalist who had been a fighter pilot and spent years in a German POW camp, later becoming a politician and filmmaker; they had three children. As well as writing a play with Martha Gellhorn, Cowles was also a historian and biographer, whose subjects included Winston Churchill and the Romanov, Rothschild, and Astor families. She was killed in an automobile accident in France in 1983.