Aggie Underwood – Reporter

Aggie began her career as a reporter assisting Gertrude Price with the women’s page.  Through her assignments Aggie became acquainted with dozens of people in public office, many of whom would become her best news contacts later in her career.

It was at the Record that Agness acquired her nickname.  As the reporters got to know and like Agness it was inevitable that her name would end up shortened. One day the sports editor, Stub Nelson, shouted out “Aggie” and the nickname stuck. Aggie wasn’t pleased at first; she’d hated the nickname when she was a kid. Again, it was her friend and mentor Gertrude Price who explained life in the newsroom to the younger woman.  She told Aggie that she should embrace the nickname as a sign of acceptance and individuality.

Wrestler c. 1930s

Wrestler c. 1930s

By 1929, Aggie had taken on extra duties at the Record, and she was rewarded with free tickets to local theaters and events – a major perk in lean times.  One day she approached Stub Nelson and asked him for tickets to a wrestling match – she wanted them for her husband.  Stub gave her the tickets on the condition that she report on the match for the sports page. Aggie didn’t know anything about wrestling, but Stub assured her that it wouldn’t take her long to learn the ins and outs of the sport.  Stub was right; in Aggie’s thorough fashion she took the assignment seriously and grilled her husband about various holds and falls, and the next day her story appeared in the sports section.

Aggie’s wrestling match assignments continued, and she was determined to learn all that she could about the sport. She became so adept at covering the wrestling matches that she was soon assigned to covering the auto races at Ascot speedway.

Eventually Aggie was summoned by Rod Brink, the City Editor, who introduced her to an elderly man who had been credited with planting the first cotton in California. Brink told Aggie to interview the man and said that her story would be a by-liner, which meant that her name would appear above the story.

Aggie’s career as a reporter was underway.