THE ICON: Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer — aka Dorothy Dix
THE LEGACY: There’s nothing at all wrong with the name Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer. It just doesn’t have the same alliterative ring as Dorothy Dix. So when Gilmer signed on to write for The Daily Picayune in 1895, she adopted that pseudonym. The column she wrote under it, “Dorothy Dix Talks” — a forerunner to today’s newspaper advice columns — would become a smash hit, syndicated in newspapers around the world and making her one of the most famous writers of her day. She would go on to cover crime, the temperance movement and other such serious topics, but her most conspicuous legacy is that advice column that started it all — and the path she forged for generations of female journalists to follow.
THE ARTIST: Alex Kilburn, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “I pondered for a long time on what line I should take; and then it came to me that everything in the world had been written about women and for women, except the truth.” — Dorothy Dix, as quoted in The Times-Picayune in 1951