Martha Gellhorn, legend of war reporting, dies

PRIVILEGE TO BE A FRIEND

One of the greatest privileges of my life was to have been Martha Gellhorn's friend.

Her accomplishments as a journalist have been well documented and rightly celebrated - Martha hungered after the truth and loathed social injustice. But as a friend she was without parallel, a pillar of support and a model of courage.

If you felt your life was falling apart, Martha could always be counted upon for inspiration. When my marriage was failing, she sent me a typically stern, two-line note. A woman alone has nothing to be ashamed of, she said, and to be a woman alone is far, far better than to be a woman trapped in a loveless marriage.

Martha herself had experienced two failed marriages, the first, of course, to Ernest Hemingway. She adored the company of clever young men and despised those she considered simpering fools. (Martha suffered fools very, very badly.) To be in her company was to be elevated into a special, rarefied world, one where love and loyalty were all.

I loved her like a mother and respected her like no other. I will miss her more than any words can say.

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