1894-07-08

DOROTHY THOMPSON, American journalist, radio commentator, lecturer and political analyst, born (d: 1961); an American journalist, who was noted by Time magazine in 1939 as one of the two most influential women in America, the other being Eleanor Roosevelt.

In the 1930s she became an overnight sensation when Hitler expelled her from Germany because of her critical reports on Nazism. In 1931, when her marriage to Sinclair Lewis was already disintegrating, she met and fell in love with the Baroness Hatvany, better known as Christa Winsloe, the author of Mädchen in Uniform, the celebrated novel about love in a girls’ school. Although Thompson’s affair with Winsloe was not her first – she had previously been in love with Gertrude Franchot Tone, the politically active feminist mother of the movie actor – it was her most intense Lesbian attachment and resulted in an outpouring of feeling that she confided to her diary:

“I put the incident down here as a record of my own sensibility if it not be love? This extraordinary heightening of all one’s feeling?…This incredible feeling of sisterhood.”

Sinclair Lewis was virtually impotent and, knowing of his wife’s bisexuality, had just published Ann Vickers, a novel about a career woman driven to suicide because of a Lesbian relationship. No time could have been better chosen for Thompson’s affair with Winsloe, a love affair that her biographer, Vincent Sheean, with little understanding, called “a rather strange interlude.”

See a more detailed biography of this trailblazing Lesbian journalist.