THE ICON: Eliza Jane Nicholson
THE LEGACY: No woman had run a U.S. metropolitan daily newspaper before Eliza Jane Holbrook, who started as literary editor, took over The Daily Picayune in 1876. She inherited the paper from her first husband, who left the Picayune $80,000 in debt. She added features to attract more readers, including a wildly successful advice column and a daily forecast featuring a frog as the weather prophet. She also wrote editorials and published poetry under the name Pearl Rivers. She married George Nicholson, the paper’s business manager, in 1878. In their two decades running the Picayune, they made it one of the most successful newspapers in the South.
THE ARTIST: Maddie Stratton, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “She went downtown back when all the newspapers were on Camp Street in Lafayette Square. Dressed to the teeth in a great big hat, in the big family carriage, and she walked in and said ‘these are the plans. I’m not letting the paper die. I will be running it. And if you don’t want to work for a woman, then that’s fine, but if you stay, know that I’ll be the boss.'” — Historian Pat Brady, on a 2016 profile of Nicholson for New Orleans Public Radio