HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Marcia Chambers, a reporter who covered high-profile crimes for The Associated Press and The New York Times, wrote a book about discrimination by golf clubs and later in life founded an online news site covering her Connecticut hometown, has died. She was 78.
Chambers, of Branford, died July 13 at a New Haven hospital. Her sister, Janice Kabel, said Thursday she had an aggressive form of cancer, uterine leiomyosarcoma.
"She loved the thrill of reporting," Kabel said. "She loved the thrill of newsrooms, of being out in the streets holding that little reporter's notebook. She had a really good way of getting behind the scenes and getting extra detail."
Chambers, born Marcia Goldstein, grew up in Brooklyn and Queens in New York City, graduated from City College and taught English at public schools before her journalism career.
She joined the AP in New York in 1971 and covered the shootings of mobsters Joe Colombo and Joey Gallo. She moved to the Times in 1973 and during a 14-year career there wrote about the trials of David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam serial killer; the kidnappers of media heiress Patty Hearst; and John Mitchell and Maurice Stans, two members of President Richard Nixon's cabinet, the Times reported.
She left the Times in 1987 to write for the National Law Journal and later earned a master's degree in law at Yale Law School, the Times reported. She met her husband, Yale law professor Stanton Wheeler, who died in 2007, at the Ivy League school in New Haven.
In the late 1980s, she also began contributing to Golf Digest and wrote a series of articles on discrimination against women and black players at private golf clubs, which won an award from the American Bar Association.
The series would lead to Chambers' 1995 book, "The Unplayable Lie: The Untold Story of Women and Discrimination in Golf."
Chambers also taught journalism at several universities. At Yale Law School, she was a research scholar and adviser to the school's journalism program.
In 2006, she founded The Branford Eagle online local news site, a sister publication of the New Haven Independent site. She covered news in her hometown and was doing work for the Eagle up until two days before her death, said Paul Bass, editor of the Independent.
"She had ink in her veins like the classic reporter," Bass said. "Marcia was interested in the news, people and systems and she wasn't hung up on prestige. And she was able to change with the times. She was a gem."
Funeral and burial services will be private. A public memorial service is being planned, Kabel said.