LONDON — American writer and war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, who reported conflicts from the Spanish Civil War to Vietnam and Panama, died Monday, her family said. She was 89.
Stepson Sandy Matthews said Gellhorn died at her London home. She had been suffering from cancer.
Gellhorn, who wrote 13 novels, resented being most famous as the third wife of Ernest Hemingway. "I was a writer before I met him, and I have been a writer for 45 years since," she once complained. "Why should I be a footnote to someone else's life?"
Born in St. Louis, she had lived in Britain for many years, maintaining an apartment in London and a country house in Wales.
A graduate of Bryn Mawr, she launched a reporting career that spanned several decades and a variety of publications, including Colliers Weekly--for which she covered the 1937-38 Spanish Civil War--and the Atlantic Monthly, which dispatched her to report the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann.
The Guardian of London sent her to cover the Vietnam War in 1966 and the war in Israel the next year. She also reported from the front in World War II, the Java conflict and the Sino-Japanese War.
"But she was most proud of her novels," said Matthews, "and frustrated when they did not sell."
They included "The Trouble I've Seen" (1936), "A Stricken Field" (1939), "The Heart of Another" (1940), "The Honeyed Peace" (1953) and "Two by Two" (1958).
Blond and glamorous, she entranced Hemingway in the late 1930s. They were married for eight years before divorcing.
In 1953, she married Time magazine editor Thomas Matthews. They divorced in the early 1960s.
She is also survived by an adopted son, Sandy Gellhorn, and her brother, Alfred. Funeral details were not immediately available.