Rachel K. McDowell (1880-1949) worked as a reporter for the Newark Evening Press (1902-1908) and the New York Herald (1905-1919) before assuming duties as the Religion Editor for the New York Times, a position she held from 1920-1948. In this role, McDowell advocated for temperate language; she organized a Pure Language League that was responsible for eliminating blasphemy and profanity from the newspaper. During her 28 year tenure at the Times, McDowell also wrote for many church periodicals and lectured on religious topics. She even ran her own radio program of religious news.
Additionally, McDowell was active in the New York City Women’s Press Club where she assumed a leadership role in establishing high standards for her peers and encouraging young women to consider reporting and editing both challenging and rewarding endeavors. McDowell was also active in the League of American PEN Women, New Jersey Women’s Press Club, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. McDowell’s National Federation of Press women membership card testifies to her long active career.