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Helen Vlachos; Greek Newspaper Publisher

October 18, 1995

Helen Vlachos, 84, feisty newspaper publisher who closed her newspapers to avoid censorship by dictators during the mid-1960s suspension of democracy in Greece. The only child of the founder of the respected daily Kathimerini, Ms. Vlachos closed that newspaper and her other one when a military junta seized power in 1967. She was placed under house arrest after she described one of the ruling army colonels as "a clown." Ms. Vlachos escaped through a window, dyed her hair black, borrowed a friend's passport and fled to London, where she was given asylum. The dictatorship collapsed in 1974, and Ms. Vlachos immediately returned to Athens and restarted her papers. She had begun her career on her father's paper as a photographer, covering the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and next wrote travel articles and award-winning portraits of her cats. During Greece's occupation by the Nazis in World War II, she worked as a Red Cross nurse. After her father died in 1951, Ms. Vlachos became publisher and wrote columns often critical of the government. She served in Parliament during the mid-1970s but resigned, asserting that government was boring compared to journalism. On Saturday in Athens.

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