MANILLA--Mary Pangalos. 1935-2021. Mary Manilla was born and raised in Manhattan. She graduated from Hofstra University to pursue her dream of a career in journalism. And what a career it was! Mary worked her way up to become a writer for Newsday where she was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize. Her first nomination came after chronicling her experiences as the first woman ever to take the Astronaut's test. This opened the way for women to be included officially into NASA's space program. Her second nomination came on the heels of a five-part series she wrote about the nascent Civil Rights movement. She moved to television and became the first-ever on- camera female reporter at WCBS-TV in New York City. Then later segued to WCBS Newsradio 88. After a distinguished career in traditional journalism, she began creating award-winning short films for JCPenney. She later became PR Director for Henson Associates, producer of the Muppets. Ultimately, she returned to journalism as the producer of features for TV Newsmagazines before devoting her time to novel writing. After experiencing both the benefits and growing pains of the women's rights movement, she became Vice President of the New York City chapter of American Women in Radio and Television, President of Women in Communication (New York chapter), and a founding member of New York Women in Film. Mary wed filmmaker and teacher James Manilla in 1966. They lived in Manhattan and Hawley, Massachusetts. James passed in 1997. Mary subsequently moved to Sarasota, Florida where she penned two original novels: "Foretold" and "Swimming to Rikers Island." She was working on a third at the time of her passing. A more complete biography can be found at: mpmanilla.com/bio.htm
Mary passed peacefully at home. She is survived by her partner, Francoise Mandonnaud Stotts and her brother, Chris. Donations in her memory may be sent to Tidewell Hospice at 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34238.
Published by New York Times on May 30, 2021.