Kit Coleman

Kit Coleman

Catherine Ferguson, (known popularly as Kit Coleman), was born Kathleen Blake in 1864 near Galway, Ireland; died in 1915 at Hamilton, Ontario) was a Canadian newspaper columnist.

Kit of the Mail was the first female journalist to be in charge of her own section of a Canadian newspaper. In the 1890s and early 1900s, she ran a seven-column page in the Toronto Mail. Called "Woman's Kingdom," it came out once a week and was so outspoken that it attracted a wide following, including Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier. She tackled anything that interested her: political commentary and theatre criticism, as well as fashion notes and recipes. In one of her most popular features she gave the first advice to the lovelorn.

Coleman was cynical about love, for her parents had married her off at 16 to an elderly Irishman. Widowed at 20, she migrated to Canada in 1884 and worked as a secretary until she married her boss, Edward Watkins. When Watkins died in 1889, she turned to journalism to support their two children. She worked for the Mail until 1911. Meanwhile, she married a third husband, Theobald Coleman. Kit became the first woman in the world to be a war correspondent. This was in 1898 when she went to Cuba to report on the Spanish-American War.

After 1911 she sold "Kit's Column" to dozens of newspapers across the country.

Coleman also served as the first president of the Canadian Women's Press Club, an organization of women journalists.

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