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Bella Stumbo

Bella Stumbo (MSJ67) died in 2002.

She became a master of personality profiles as a special correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, from 1971 to 1993. Her profiles, many about memorable figures, described aspects of her subjects in an uncommon light.

Stumbo was born in Pikeville, Ky., and graduated from Denver University in 1965 with a degree in government. Within the next two years, she received her master’s degrees in government, from University of California-Santa Barbara, and journalism, from Medill.

Stumbo’s 22 years at the Times included articles about colorful and controversial figures in public life, from former Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry to industrialist Justin Dart to Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner. Those in the journalism trade eventually began to use the term "Stumboed" in reference to people profiled by this tall, attractive reporter.

After she left the Times, Stumbo published a book about the Betty Broderick murder case and freelanced for publications such as Esquire and Vanity Fair. She had been writing her memoir when she was diagnosed with throat cancer.