On Oscars eve (or just before), I thought it would be fun to point out that the Academy’s own Margaret Herrick (Sept. 27, 1902-June 20, 1976) perfectly exemplified the rise of the ’40s woman.
Herrick served as executive director of the Academy from 1945 to 1971. It was she who negotiated the Academy’s first TV broadcast (1953) and transformed the Oscars ceremony into a major televised event.
How did she do it? By acquiring expertise (a University of Washington library degree and experience as a head librarian) and following her heart – literally. She married Donald Gledhill, who eventually became executive secretary of the Academy, and moved to Hollywood to join him. Starting as a volunteer, she became the Academy’s librarian in 1936.
She took on her husband’s duties when he left for military service in World War II. After the couple divorced in 1945, the Academy Board of Governors offered her the executive position. (In 1946, she married Philip A. Herrick. They divorced in 1951, but she continued to use his name professionally.)
Margaret Herrick laid the foundation for what is now considered to be one of the world’s finest film-related libraries. Following her retirement in 1971, the Academy library was renamed in her honor. She died on June 20, 1976.
And, of the several stories about how the name Oscar came into being, a leading contender is that in the early 1930s Herrick saw the statuette and said it looked like her Uncle Oscar. Whether Herrick or someone else (Bette Davis perhaps?) thought of the name, the Academy officially adopted the moniker in 1939.
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Photos and source info from www.oscars.org