Friday, May 16, 2014

Nancy Malone and The Times

The New York Times at last has an obituary for Nancy Malone. The Los Angeles Times still promises that “a complete obituary” is forthcoming.

I read the Times obituary this morning and, ever curious, searched my stats. Yes, The Times uses highly specialized twenty-first-century research tools:

[May 13, 2014, at 6:22 in the evening.]

If the Times obituary borrows anything from Orange Crate Art, it’s a mistake. When I posted an image of Malone’s 1946 Life cover (bright and early on May 13), I wrote that Malone is “not identified by name.” I came to that mistaken conclusion by looking at the issue’s photo credits. Had I looked more thoroughly, I would have seen a description of the cover on page 3:

[“Nancy Maloney of Long Island, shown on cover holding first issue of LIFE, is one of the most successful younger Powers models.” Not a mistake: she was born Maloney.]

The Times obituary describes Malone on the cover of Life as “an anonymous girl-next-door in pigtails.” True, there’s no name on the cover, but the magazine does identify Malone by name. A Times reporter or researcher might have made the same mistake I made by looking at the cover alone. But turning the pages of the magazine (or the virtual pages, at Google Books) would fix things. I think it likely that the Times borrowed a mistaken detail from me. That’s what can happen when you trust the Internets.

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