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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Cobb, Beatrice

By T. Harry Gatton, 1979

13 Nov. 1888–11 Sept. 1959

Beatrice Cobb, newspaper editor and publisher and Democratic party leader, was born in Morganton, the eldest of six daughters of Theodore Gettys and Martha Beatrice CobbKincaid Cobb. Educated first in the local schools, she enrolled at Asheville Normal School in 1907 and was graduated in 1909. She taught school in Hickory from 1909 to 1913, when she returned to Morganton to begin a newspaper career on the News-Herald , becoming owner and publisher at the time of her father's death in 1916. She also established the Valdese News in 1938.

One of the pioneer women leaders in the North Carolina Press Association, she served as its secretary-treasurer from 1922 until her death. From 1934 until 1952 she held the office of Democratic national committee-woman from North Carolina. She gained distinction in national Democratic circles and was the only southerner on the five-member committee to advise President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 on a successor to James A. Farley, party chairman. Beginning in 1928, she was a delegate to several Democratic National Conventions.

The University of North Carolina awarded her an honorary LL.D. in 1949. She was a Methodist and an honorary member of the Morganton Kiwanis Club. Many of her writings dealt with her world travel experiences; after she became ill with acute leukemia she took a month's trip to Europe, from which she returned to enter Duke Hospital in Durham, where she died.


Charlotte Observer , 12 Sept. 1959

History of the North Carolina Press Association (1973)

Morganton News-Herald , 11 Sept. 1959

Raleigh News and Observer , 12 Sept. 1959

Who's Who of American Women , vol. 1 (1958–59)

Image Credit:

"Beatrice Cobb (1888-1959) sits at her desk at The News Herald office." Photo courtesy of The News Herald. Available from accessed (April 10, 2012).

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