Gail Woolley Dies, Helped Finance Newhouse Students

Gail Campbell Woolley, a reporter for the old Washington Star, the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Times before joining the public relations department of the ExxonMobil Corp., died March 16 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, her husband, Howard Woolley, told Journal-isms on Friday.

She suffered from sickle cell anemia, Woolley said. She was 58.

The couple donated $50,000 to endow a scholarship at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where they met, Woolley, a Verizon executive, said. They also sponsored an eye clinic at Johns Hopkins for research on the link between sickle cell anemia and eye problems. In addition, Newhouse hosts the Howard and Gail Campbell Woolley Broadcast Journalism Lab.

"I knew Gail both as a colleague when we worked together at the Baltimore Sun and later as the dean of her alma mater," Lorraine Branham, dean of the Newhouse school, messaged Journal-isms on Friday. "It was great to reconnect with her when I became dean. She was outspoken, compassionate and dedicated to the cause of helping the next generation of African American journalists." Branham added, "Anyone who knows Gail will tell you that she did not tolerate fools."

A wake took place in Washington on Friday, with a memorial service to follow in April.

"Gail loved doing exciting things like shark feeding in Tahiti, safaris in South Africa, or cruising on the Nile, . . ." according to the program for the wake.

"Gail was always courageous and optimistic while juggling a career, family, travel, and managing her Sickle Cell disease. After her 2012 diagnosis of Pulmonary Hypertension, Gail took up scuba diving so she could continue her aquatic activities while receiving oxygen support. Howard stood by her every step of the way. At the time of her death, Gail had written 450 pages of her autobiography describing her lifetime of achievement and adventure while battling the effects of Sickle Cell disease."

Attribution: Richard Prince,

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