Mar­garet E. Dougherty

World War II Navy veteran and Mary­land Magazine ed­i­tor was ac­tively in­volved in his­toric preser­va­tion

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - By Fred­er­ick N. Ras­mussen fras­mussen@balt­sun.com

Mar­garet E. Dougherty, for­mer ed­i­tor of Mary­land Magazine who sought to high­light the beauty, di­ver­sity and his­tory of the Free State, died of a stroke Tues­day at Col­lege Manor Nurs­ing Home in Lutherville.

The for­mer long­time Fed­eral Hill res­i­dent was 96.

The daugh­ter of Joseph F. Dougherty, head of the de­tec­tive bureau of the Bal­ti­more Po­lice Depart­ment, and Mary Agnes Dougherty, a reg­is­tered nurse, Mar­garet Elizabeth Dougherty was born in Bal­ti­more and raised in the 1700 block of North Broad­way.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing in 1937 from the In­sti­tute of Notre Dame, she earned a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in English in 1941 from what is now Notre Dame of Mary­land Univer­sity.

She later earned a sec­ond bach­e­lor’s de­gree in for­eign trade from the Thun­der­bird Garvin School of In­ter­na­tional Man­age­ment in Phoenix, Ariz.

Miss Dougherty also held a mas­ter’s de­gree in Latin Amer­i­can His­tory, which she earned from Ge­orge­town Univer­sity.

“When I stop learn­ing, I get very rest­less,” she told The Bal­ti­more Sun in a 1982 in­ter­view. “That’s what I like about writ­ing. You’re con­stantly go­ing out to meet the world and learn­ing some­thing new.”

Dur­ing World War II, she en­listed in the Navy with the Women Ac­cepted for Vol­un­teer Emer­gency Ser­vice (WAVES) pro­gram. She worked in com­mu­ni­ca­tions at the Wil­low Grove Naval Air Sta­tion near Philadel­phia and at Alameda Naval Air Sta­tion in Alameda, Calif., where she also held the po­si­tions of air trans­port of­fi­cer and per­son­nel of­fi­cer.

She was dis­charged in1948 and re­mained in the Naval Re­serve un­til re­tir­ing in 1975 with the rank of cap­tain.

She worked three years as a sec­re­tary for Na­tional Ge­o­graphic magazine and later joined The Bal­ti­more Sun, where she worked closely with mar­itime ed­i­tor He­len Delich Bent­ley. Miss Dougherty was ap­pointed chief of pub­li­ca­tions in the 1960s for the Mary­land Port Au­thor­ity.

“Op­er­at­ing al­most in­con­spic­u­ously from her desk in the of­fices of the state agency, the diminu­tive brunette with the easy smile com­bines a knowl­edge of the ship­ping in­dus­try with the tal­ents of a writer and artist to help cre­ate, pro­duce and dis­trib­ute a tremen­dous va­ri­ety of pub­li­ca­tions,” wrote The Sun in a 1966 pro­file.

Miss Dougherty over­saw pro­duc­tion of the agency’s book­lets and brochures — from con­cep­tion to work­ing with writ­ers, artists, print­ers and even direct­ing cir­cu­la­tion to mar­itime in­ter­ests in 100 coun­tries around the world.

She wrote and edited what was then called the Port of Bal­ti­more Bul­letin, and also ar­ranged pro­mo­tional events, gave talks on the port be­fore civic or­ga­ni­za­tions and pro­vided oral com­men­tary to vis­i­tors tak­ing har­bor tours.

In 1967, then-Gov. Spiro T. Agnew an­nounced the launch­ing of Mary­land Magazine to help pro­mote the state’s his­tory, cul­ture and peo­ple. John T. McCar- thy, who had been ed­i­tor of the Mary­land Con­ser­va­tion­ist, was se­lected as ed­i­tor, with Miss Dougherty as as­so­ciate ed­i­tor.

Miss Dougherty be­came ed­i­tor the next year of the quar­terly pub­li­ca­tion, which was pub­lished by the state Depart­ment of Eco­nomic and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment.

Direct­ing a small staff, she guided a pub­li­ca­tion that be­came known not only for its ed­i­to­rial con­tent but also for its pho­tog­ra­phy and ty­pog­ra­phy — show­cased on high-qual­ity glossy pa­per.

“I re­ally did ev­ery­thing from A to Z,” she told The Sun in 1982. “I had to han­dle per­son­nel, all the ad­min­is­tra­tion, the sub­scrip­tion ful­fill­ment sys­tem, the sup­plies … su­per­vise ev­ery­thing. A lot of it didn’t have any­thing to do with what ap­peared on the page. I was stretched pretty thin.”

She waged bat­tles to keep the magazine free from in­flu­ence by politi­cians seek­ing self-pro­mo­tion in its pages. She also had to main­tain an ed­i­to­rial bal­ance be­tween Tide­wa­ter Mary­land and Western Mary­land.

“I picked up plenty of flak from Western Mary­land,” Miss Dougherty re­called in The Sun in­ter­view. “They were ask­ing if I thought the state ended in Bal­ti­more.”

She worked to re­cruit ex­pe­ri­enced news­pa­per writ­ers and also en­cour­aged new writ­ers — even though she de­scribed the pay as “ap­palling.”

“If I’ve done noth­ing else but help peo­ple in Western Mary­land ap­pre­ci­ate the peo­ple on the Eastern Shore, and the peo­ple in South­ern Mary­land get to know Bal­ti­more peo­ple bet­ter, I feel I’ve done some­thing,” she said. She re­tired in 1982. She re­stored a home on Warren Av­enue in Fed­eral Hill, and later re­stored an­other at Bond and Shake­speare streets in Fells Point that had been a sea­men’s room­ing house.

Miss Dougherty had been the long­time pres­i­dent of the So­ci­ety for the Preser­va­tion of Fed­eral Hill, Mont­gomery Street and Fells Point.

Dur­ing her ten­ure as pres­i­dent dur­ing the 1970s, she par­tic­i­pated in the suc­cess­ful ef­fort to keep pro­posed ex­ten­sions of In­ter­states 83 and 95 through Fells Point and Fed­eral Hill out of those his­toric neigh­bor­hoods.

“We’re against any road, pe­riod. I don’t care if they put it in the sky,” she told The Sun in 1976.

She had been an ac­tive com­mu­ni­cant of St. Mary, Star of the Sea Ro­man Catholic Church in Bal­ti­more.

Miss Dougherty en­joyed read­ing, writ­ing, trav­el­ing and en­ter­tain­ing fam­ily and friends.

In 2006, she moved to the Charlestown Re­tire­ment Com­mu­nity, where she lived un­til mov­ing to Col­lege Manor in 2014.

Miss Dougherty never mar­ried. “I’m not un­happy about that,” she said in the 1982 in­ter­view. “I think there’s noth­ing greater than a good mar­riage, but I’ve known a lot of peo­ple and I feel I’ve had a rather good life.”

A me­mo­rial ser­vice will be held at 11 a.m. to­day at the Lem­mon Fu­neral Home, 10 W. Pado­nia Road, in Ti­mo­nium.

She is sur­vived by her brother, J. Robert Dougherty of Parkville; four nieces; and two neph­ews. Mar­garet E. Dougherty worked as chief of pub­li­ca­tions for the Mary­land Port Au­thor­ity in the 1960s.

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