The Betty Klaric Collection

Betty Klaric was a pioneering environmental reporter for the Cleveland Press. She began her career in 1955 as a "copy boy" at the paper, rising to reporter, assistant city editor, and first woman president of the Cleveland Newspaper Guild. Klaric's persistent and unflinching coverage of pollution in Cleveland's air, water, and soil inspired environmental legislation and community involvement, and won her national acclaim.

Betty Klaric was born in 1931 in Yorkville, Ohio. Before joining the Cleveland Press in 1955, she earned a journalism degree at Ohio State University, worked as an elevator operator, and wrote articles for the Martins Ferry Times-Leader and a guest column for the Wheeling Intelligencer. She covered PTA and club functions at the Press before graduating to general news assignments and eventually focusing on environmental issues.

Klaric's coverage of the Metroparks and environmental issues brought her acclaim. She began the "Save Lake Erie Now" campaign in 1965 with the Cleveland Press, and brought the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire to national attention, leading to changes in environmental laws on the federal level.

Betty Klaric also advocated for pensions for female journalists, and was elected president of the Cleveland Newspaper Guild in 1967. She received a National Headliner award in 1972, the Edward J. Meeman Conservation Award (twice), and the Water Pollution Control Federation Schlenz Medal in 1979.

After the Cleveland Press ceased publication, she graduated from law school and clerked for two years with Ohio Appeals Judge August Pryatel before working at the State Employment Relations Board and as a trial lawyer in the U.S. labor solicitor's office. Upon her retirement in 1997, Klaric volunteered at the Legal Aid Society in Cleveland, where she worked as a part-time community education specialist.

Betty Klaric was inducted posthumously into the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Hall of Fame as a "Commemorated Honoree" in 2017.

Additional Resources