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Gray Johnson Poole, 98, journalist, author


Gray Johnson Poole, a journalist and author of books for youth, died Aug. 21 of natural causes at the Kensington Episcopal Home in Alhambra, Calif., where she lived. She was 98.

Born Elizabeth Gray Johnson in Pennsylvania, Mrs. Poole preferred to use her middle name. She attended the Johns Hopkins University for three years before leaving school to care for her ailing father.

Mrs. Poole was a writer since childhood and published her first short story when she was 11. In the 1930s and 1940s, Mrs. Poole was a reporter and society editor for The Evening Sun.

In 1941, she married Lynn Poole, who served as Johns Hopkins' first director of public relations from 1946 to 1966 and developed one of television's first educational programs.

The two co-authored more than 30 books, including science books aimed at teenagers and volumes about ancient Greece.

Mrs. Poole also wrote several books and worked as a ghostwriter, a columnist for national newspapers and magazines, an advertising copywriter and a technical writer.

In 1956, she won the national Robert E. Sherwood Award for writing a television documentary about desegregation of the Baltimore City schools.

The Pooles moved to California in 1969, shortly before Mr. Poole's death that year.

Mrs. Poole was an avid birder and gardener, and had a passion for art. She was also active with International PEN, a human rights and literary organization.

For the past 16 years, Mrs. Poole lived at the Cummings Care Center at the Kensington Episcopal Home in Alhambra.

She walked on the beach every day and remained active until the end of her life, said her niece, Elsa Evans of Fieldbrook, Calif.

At her request, there were no services.

In addition to Mrs. Evans, Mrs. Poole is survived by another niece and a nephew.

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