Adela Rogers St. Johns, the veteran reporter and best-selling author whose six-decade career took her among the leading news makers of several eras, died early today.
She was 94 and died in a rest home in Arroyo Grande, near San Luis Obispo. Her daughter Elaine lived nearby.
At her death she could claim several firsts, among them: first woman to cover a police beat and the first allowed into a press box at sporting events. She had been known variously as "The World's Greatest Girl Reporter" when she wrote some of the most sensational stories of the day for her boss and friend, William Randolph Hearst, and "Mother Confessor of Hollywood," for her articles in Photoplay magazine.
She covered the Charles Lindbergh baby kidnaping trial, the abdication of King Edward VIII, the assassination of Sen. Huey Long and the long-count Jack Dempsey-Gene Tunney fight, among various other events.
She had been retired for several years when, in 1976 at age 82, she was asked to cover the bank robbery trial of her old boss' granddaughter, Patricia Hearst.
At her death she was working on a book, "The Missing Years of Jesus."