Beloved Fox News editor Janet Cawley has died aged 75

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Fox News Digital legendary editor Janet Cawley has died aged 75.

Cawley, who died on June 6 of gallbladder cancer diagnosed in early 2020, had a mastery in writing, editing and was a beloved figure in the Fox News newsroom who had a lasting impact on anyone lucky enough to work with her.

Janet Cawley joined Fox News as editor in 2013 and quickly became a vital member of the staff, mentoring young journalists, providing historical perspective and catching countless typos along the way.

“Jan Cawley made the newsroom an infinitely better place – both professionally, by sharing his wisdom and experiences with colleagues, many of whom saw Jan as a mentor – and personally, by inviting reporters and editors in. his life beyond simple signatures, often exchanging photos of dogs and discussing real estate offline. Jan will be sorely missed, but his dedication to journalism and storytelling will remain an inspiration, ”said Porter Berry, vice president and editor of Fox News Digital.

Cawley’s historic career has included jobs with United Press International (UPI), the Chicago Tribune, A&E networks, NewsCore and Fox News. Chicago Tribune columnist Ellen Warren and Alicia Patterson Foundation executive director Margaret Engel wrote a touching obituary to their late friend.

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“Cawley was a dynamic writer, whose precision, unwavering curiosity, collegial generosity, and infectious, unmistakable laughter were hallmarks of her nearly half-century as a journalist,” wrote Warren and Patterson.

Cawley began her career at UPI in 1971 and went from journalist and editor to office manager. She eventually landed at the Chicago Tribune and spent 15 years covering George HW Bush’s White House as well as other great national and international stories.

She has regularly shared stories that have helped a younger generation of journalists understand how much the industry has changed, such as fondly recalling the moment she was invited by then-Vice President Bush himself. to stay aboard Air Force Two when she needed a nap during a long trip.

She also shared stories of going out with the President that she covered, something she doubted would happen these days.

“Like the weather [George H.W. Bush] we had about 12 or 15 of us – who had flown to Kennebunkport, Maine with him – to his family home for impromptu drinks and a chat. If I remember correctly, he went to the local liquor store and bought the wine himself, “Cawley wrote in 2018.” As President and First Lady Barbara Bush walked us inside, I ‘admit that I spent a good deal of my time trying to memorize the numbers on all the phones. ”

Cawley’s sense of humor permeated her work and she particularly liked a 1986 story about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. looking for a human toe that was used in a novelty drink.

“Call it the missing toe case or maybe just the missing number. Whatever the nickname, there are issues: the severed human toe which was the main ingredient in the infamous Sour Toe cocktail. Captain Dick Stevenson’s Gone, “Cawley wrote of the bizarre drink she finally tried herself.

Janet Cawley and her brother Phil, far right, pictured with President George HW Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush at the White House Christmas party.

Janet Cawley and her brother Phil, far right, pictured with President George HW Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush at the White House Christmas party.

She joined Fox News as editor in 2013 and quickly became a vital member of the staff, mentoring young journalists, providing historical perspective and catching countless typos along the way. Reporters and writers often turned to Cawley for advice on everything from business tips from the media industry to whether or not to try the soup of the day at his take-out lunch spot.

“Well, this is news you can use,” she would say whenever someone mentioned a good restaurant near the office that she wasn’t already aware of.

Cawley often told young colleagues fascinating stories about his time covering the White House, served as an unofficial internal historian, and provided unparalleled insight. Her English Bulldog, Lulabelle, was essentially a household name among Cawley’s peers as she spoke adoringly about her beloved pet.

While Lulabelle was Cawley’s most recent English Bulldog, she has shared her home with many of them over the years. Her annual Christmas cards always featured a photo of her with her current bulldog.

Cawley retired in 2019, but kept in touch with several Fox News colleagues, regularly requesting photos of babies and pets while his famous Christmas cards were displayed on the desk in the newsroom of this journalist long before her retirement (they are festive and go up for the first time with Christmas decorations but have never been removed).

Janet Cawley's famous Christmas cards are on display on the desk in this reporter's newsroom long before her retirement.

Janet Cawley’s famous Christmas cards are on display on the desk in this reporter’s newsroom long before her retirement.
(Brian Flood)

Cawley emailed former colleagues shortly after retiring to let them know she had been diagnosed with gallbladder cancer and needed surgery.

“This is NOT how I planned to spend my retirement,” she wrote, noting that “Nurse Lulabelle, in a starched white hat, will be in charge” in the future.

“Love and drool”, she signed a few months later an e-mail informing her former colleagues of her status and that of Lulabelle. “That too will pass,” she would often say when she asked for good karma on her behalf while battling the disease.

Janet Cawley and her beloved English Bulldog, Lulabelle.

Janet Cawley and her beloved English Bulldog, Lulabelle.
(Brian Flood)

Cawley’s only brother, Philip Cawley, died earlier this year and she requested that no funeral service be held in her honor as she had no surviving relatives.

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Cawley’s death stunned his former Fox News colleagues on the weekend of July 4 when they learned the news from his longtime friend.

“The first item in her will was a request to find a loving home for Lulabelle. Her friends Jim and John found a bulldog loving couple with three children to give Lulabelle a cheerful home worthy of her rambunctious owner,” Warren wrote. and Patterson.

Cawley was a talented, intuitive, colorful and generous journalist and editor who improved any copy she came across. Most importantly, her infectious smile and sense of humor only made the day better.


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