“I refuse the compliment that I think like a man. Thought has
no sex; one either thinks or one does not.”—Clare Boothe Luce
April 10, 1903 — October 9, 1987
It was 1929, the Depression had started and Clare Boothe Brokaw was newly divorced from her gin-drinking and increasingly aggressive husband, George T Brokaw. She had accepted a relatively small settlement from the multi-millionaire and ensconced herself and her fiveyear-old daughter in an apartment at 444 East 52nd Street, New York City. So, aged 26 and a single mom, she was looking for work.
She decided to try journalism and started with one of her contacts, Condé Nast, the founder of the eponymous glossy magazine company. She asked him for a job at Vogue but he referred her to the editor who told her to come back in a couple of months. When she returned a few weeks later, well before the deadline, both Nast and his editor were in Europe. Looking around, Clare found two empty desks vacated by caption writers on their honeymoon, so she sat down and started to work.