Martha Rountree (October 23, 1911--August 23, 1999) was a pioneering broadcast journalist and entrepreneur. She was the creator and first moderator of a public-affairs program, first on radio as The American Mercury from June 24, 1945, and as Meet the Press on the NBC television network from November 6, 1947. She remains the only female moderator in the over-six-decade history of the show. Born in Gainesville, Florida, she was reared in Columbia, S.C. At 16, her father died and, in order to pay her way through the University of South Carolina, she worked for the Columbia Record newspaper. Unable to finish university for financial reasons and interested in journalism, she took a job as a reporter with The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida.
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