New Book Details Life of First Female Chief Editor

Amanda Smith says Patterson pioneered the 24-hour news cycle in Washington.
5:19 | 11/15/11

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Transcript for New Book Details Life of First Female Chief Editor
-- gonna switch gears now we're -- it. Talk now about a woman who was called the most powerful woman in America at one point she surpassed Eleanor Roosevelt Bess Truman Dorothy Schiff. Says -- Paterson was turning might not know of her but she was the first woman editor at each editor in chief and publisher of a major daily newspaper right -- Washington. And she didn't think that male and female newspaper from different all that much Nikola. This idea of our good. -- -- -- -- It and -- A -- -- In the in. -- an action that. All right well joining us now to talk about this is the author of the book the newspaper tighten Amanda Smith is here to talk about says -- Patterson you can't tell in that Israel of Hershey actually apparently had. Very bright red hair and an equally fiery in real life Amanda thanks for joining us thank you so much for having me. Sure I'd love to get your take line. And says -- Patterson back and that of 1930 and compare her to some of the women we now see -- So called media moguls who have a lot of influence whether it's Oprah -- Arianna Huffington and folks like that how how would she compare. Well issue is and her own person issue as he said was a fiery redhead. And she put her stamp on everything she did right or wrong. And I've been thinking aloud about that comparison between since -- Patterson and says Jill Abramson and news and managing editor of the New York Times. Jill Abramson camps the times and with a lot more. Practical on the ground reportorial experience -- Sissy Patterson's it's -- -- Paterson was from a journalistic family. And always wanted to go into journalism and to have her own newspaper and she finally did that. There are also a lot of parallels between her parents Arianna Huffington. And newspaper that Susan Paterson put -- The Washington Times Harold was in many ways a lot like Huffington Post nowadays. So let's talk about the one of her clothes was like back in the day I mean obviously she had a huge hole on Washington and in the 1930s in the 1940s what was it like had a -- -- that -- Well she is very innovative people don't often give her credit for that and one of the things that my research -- -- newspaper -- and turned up with. She actually initiated the 24 hour news -- in Washington. She also was revolutionary. Of those that was left at the time for a hiring a lot of women. In her sitting room not just as part of the secretarial pool. As reporters and -- editors. And when war came in 1941. Sissy Patterson's times herald was actually in a much better position a lot of newspapers around the country. That lost a lot of their manpower and a lot of -- reporters to the war. That part is -- some very interesting point -- -- what you -- just talk for a minute here about how a 49 year old woman with. A -- a great pedigree but no experience takes a newspaper and turns it into a powerhouse. Close this -- life was really amazing a lot of people said that she had very Catholic quality situation -- very graceful. Very well kept it very well -- and done she also was like a cat in the sense that -- -- And it was as if she had nine lives and one of them was that as a young parents when she was in her teens. She fell in love with the polish count and married him and he turned out to be even worse than she had been warned that he might. And then he -- up and took every penny that her parents gave them and eventually kidnapped a child and the little girl had to be returned and. Under the authority of the czar of Russia. But assistant -- -- -- untangle himself from that terrible relationship and as you said. After sort of false starts and acting. And in writing novels found her calling and went into newspaper publishing. She ended up taking over William Randolph Hearst's -- morning Paper in Washington DC. And made a great success of it even had been in the fifth place position out of six papers in DC at the time that she took -- over. Within three years -- -- one Paper in DC and by the end of the decade Hearst was going bankrupt and Sissy had the cash to buy not only papers had been running. But he's in newspaper as well The Washington Times in the relations modern day Washington times. And should merge the two and needed as a result with the times herald the -- is by far the most widely read Paper in DC. Meetings of the Washington powerhouse all right Amanda Smith I'm the new book is called newspaper tightened thank you so much for being a -- really appreciate it. She put back on treasury -- -- -- not -- flesh eating laughable but what about we'll Charles and other note taking a lesson.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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