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Jayne Brumley Ikard, pioneering Newsweek journalist, dies at 83

August 29, 2010 |  6:33 pm

Jayne Brumley Ikard, one of Newsweek magazine's first female bureau chiefs and a prominent Washington hostess, has died. She was 83.

Ikard died Friday from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Washington, according to her son, Bryan Brumley, a former Associated Press bureau chief.

Born Mary Jane Keegan, Ikard changed her name to Jayne because she liked how it looked. She studied journalism at Boston University, and in 1951 married Calvin Brumley, whom she met at the Lubbock Avalanche Journal.

The couple followed Calvin Brumley's career to Denver, New York, Jacksonville, Fla., and Boston, where Ikard wrote a column for the Boston Herald. In 1964, she became head of Newsweek's Boston bureau, where she covered national politics, including Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign and funeral and the aftermath of Chappaquiddick and Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Ikard was appointed director of public relations for the newly created President's Council on Environmental Quality in 1969 and after her husband's death in 1972, she wrote in a Saturday Evening Post story that she was determined "to become the best informed female international environmentalist."

She met former U.S. Rep. Frank Ikard during a trip to Stockholm for the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment.

They were married weeks later in Austin, Tex. The couple lived in Washington until Frank Ikard's death in 1991, hosting many events at their home with a mix of politicians, diplomats and journalists.