Means in 1983
June 13, 1934
|Died||December 2, 2017 (aged 83)|
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Nebraska|
George Washington University
|Spouse||C. Paul Means |
Edward H. DeHart
Warren Weaver Jr
James J. Kilpatrick
Means was born on June 13, 1934, in Sioux City, Iowa. She was the daughter of Ernest Maynard Hansen and Else Marie Johanne (Andersen) Hansen. Means attended public schools in Sioux City where she grew up.
Means graduated from the Nebraska University receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1956. She received a Juris Doctor law degree from George Washington University in Washington D.C. in 1977.
Means started her career working for the Dakoto County Star in 1954 as a reporter and used the pen name "Marianne Hansen Means" and "Marianne Means". She next worked for the Lincoln Journal as a copy editor in Lincoln, Nebraska 1955-57. She worked there also as their wire editor and did these jobs for two years through 1956. She then moved to the Washington, D.C. area and took a new position as the Woman's editor on the Northern Virginia Sun in Arlington, Virginia in 1957. She worked there as supervisor of a staff of 15 men for two years.
Means then took a position at the Hearst Newspapers in 1959. She became their group's Washington bureau correspondent covering Capitol Hill and politics. In 1960 she was assigned to Presidential conventions and the campaign of John F. Kennedy. Her journalism career took off when she escorted and wrote about Kennedy and his speechwriter Theodore C. Sorensen visiting Nebraska University. After Kennedy was elected President he suggested that Means be assigned full-time for the White House coverage. It was known by Secret Service agents and members of the press that she was one of President Kennedy's many lovers. She worked as White House correspondent from 1961 to 1965. She was the first woman reporter to be assigned full-time coverage of the White House.
Means reported on Kennedy's trips to Latin America and Europe; the summit conference with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev; Cuban Crisis; and national crisis events. She was a political columnist reporter for Hearst Newspapers and King Features Syndicate from 1965 to 1994. In 1994 she became a political columnist reporter for New York Times. Means has reported on all the presidential campaigns from Kennedy to Clinton. She has been a commentator for Columbia Broadcasting System radio, Mutual Broadcasting System, Voice of America, Post Newsweek Stations, and National Public Radio.
Means covered President Kennedy's assassination and the transition to a Johnson Administration. She reported in 1974 that President Lyndon B. Johnson told her in confidence that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone, but was motivated by the ideals of Fidel Castro.
Means wrote The Woman in the White House, a book on the lives of 12 notable first ladies published by Random House Publishing in 1963. Some of these president's wives were Bess Truman (wife of Harry S. Truman), Mamie Eisenhower (wife of Dwight D. Eisenhower), and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (wife of John F. Kennedy).
Means was associated with the National Press Foundation, International Women's Media Foundation, White House Correspondents' Association, National Press Club, Cosmos Club, Gridiron Club (president), Delta Delta Delta, Sigma Delta Chi, and Phi Beta Kappa. She was given a lifetime recognition award at the Sigma Delta Chi sorority.
Means has been married five times. Her first marriage was in 1956 to C. Paul Means; they divorced in 1961. In 1965 she wed Emmet Riordan (1920-2006), an official in the Executive Office of the President; they were divorced in 1969. She was briefly married to government affairs consultant Edward H. DeHart in the early 1970s. In 1976, she married Warren Weaver Jr (died February 1997). In June 1998, she married James J. Kilpatrick (1920-2010), and was widowed after his death in 2010.
Marianne Hansen Means (1934- ) lived in Lincoln. Journalist, author, political columnist, known as first woman reporter to be assigned full-time coverage of the White House from 1961 to 1965.
The first female reporter to be assigned full time to cover presidential activities, she was the White House correspondent during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. She was the only woman in the White House press corps to be in Dallas with President Kennedy when he was shot.
Marianne Means was the first Woman to Receive a Full-Time White House Beat as White House correspondent. She has covered every national party convention and every presidential and congressional campaign since then, and in 1966 became the first woman ever assigned full-time to cover all presidential activities.
Marianne Means was the first woman reporter to be assigned full-time coverage of the White House (1961-65).