Lily May Caldwell
Caldwell was born in Houston and grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where she became interested in newspaper work. She joined the News staff in 1921, starting in classified ads and working her way up to reporting arts and entertainment stories within a few years. For many years, Caldwell served as talent and press agent on the executive board of the Starlight Opera. Her involvement in the 1948 States Rights Democratic Party convention led her to hire Canadian soprano Ruby Mercer, then starring in the Starlight's production of "New Moon" to perform the National Anthem to open the convention.
Caldwell also helped produce the News-sponsored Miss Alabama pageant by raising money for scholarships and organizing the show itself. She organized the 1950 pageant which launched Yolande Betbeze on her way to winning Miss America in 1951.
Caldwell maintained correspondence with numerous Alabamians in the entertainment business, such as Gail Patrick, and interviewed most any celebrity who came through Birmingham on a promotional trip. She was also interested in national politics and kept up correspondence with Franklin Roosevelt's secretarial pool.
Caldwell traveled extensively to cover entertainment events and Broadway shows. She retired as editor of the News entertainment section in 1966.
- Frankenstein, Alfred Victor, et al, eds. (1951) The International Who Is Who in Music. Who is Who in Music, Inc.
- Pennycuff, Tim L. (August 13, 2004) "Brief Overview of MC15, the Lily May Caldwell Papers. UAB Archives - accessed September 11, 2007