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Corey Remembered as “...trailblazer in her profession”

First diagnosed in 2008, Corey soldiered on to lead Sun's resurrection
The first woman to lead the Baltimore Sun newsroom in the 176-year history of the paper died Tuesday, Feb. 26.

Mary J. Corey, 49, died from breast cancer. She was the Sun's senior vice president and director of content since 2010. Under Corey, the Sun earned Newspaper of the Year and best website honors from the MDDC Press Association. The Sun claimed 27 first-place awards in 2012.

"Mary was an outstanding colleague and a wonderful person," said Sun CEO Timothy E. Ryan in Jean Marbella’s obituary, first published online on the evening of Feb. 26 in the Sun. “When I had the opportunity to select her as editor in 2010, I knew she would be an extraordinary leader for our team. She was a friend and mentor to many here, and I will miss her both as a colleague and a friend."

Corey was first diagnosed with the disease in 2008. Undaunted, she led nearly 200 Sun paper journalists—including the affiliated community newspapers and magazines—when she took over as content director three yes ago. As the industry was contracting, Corey resurrected the Sun Magazine after it had ceased publication 14 years earlier. She led creation of new sections such as Scene, brought back editorial cartoonist KAL, and bolstered coverage of medicine, science and the federal workplace.

Corey pushed development for the Sun's investigative projects for the quality writing they spurred and changes they netted, including how Baltimore police reported rape cases and the recent overhaul of the city's flawed speed camera program. These initiatives came as The Sun's owner, Tribune Co., underwent reorganization, emerging from bankruptcy this year. The Daily Record, a rival publication in Baltimore, named her one of its 100 most influential Marylanders in 2011.

Born in New York but moved to the Baltimore area as a child as the youngest of three sisters, Corey grew up in Cockeysville, Md. Corey graduated from Dulaney High School, where she wrote for the school’s newspaper and played field hockey. She attended Notre Dame of Md. University, graduating magna cum laude in 1985.

Jan Warrington, then the Sun's features editor, hired Corey in 1987 as an editorial assistant before promoting her that year to reporter. Corey covered Baltimore's dining scene, profiled newsmakers and celebrities, and served as fashion writer.

Corey became a national correspondent for the Sun in 1997, covering the murder of designer Gianni Versace in Miami and co-authoring a series on the children of civil rights icons Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Corey was later was named deputy national editor, then assistant managing editor for features. In 2009, Corey became head of print and took the director of content job a year later.

Corey was also a juror on the Pulitzer Prize panel that selected the feature-writing winner.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called Corey, "a trailblazer in her profession" who was “committed to the Baltimore region and was one of the few editors of a major metropolitan newspaper to have the unique opportunity to lead her hometown paper that she grew up reading. My thoughts and prayers are with Mary, her family and all her colleagues at The Baltimore Sun."

Corey is survived by her mother, Mary C. Corey; sisters Kathleen M. Demchuk and Margaret A. Quaranta; brothers-in-law Michael J. Demchuk and Andre Quaranta; nieces Caitlin B. Demchuk and Ashley M. Demchuk; and nephews Justin A. Quaranta and Kyle M. Quaranta. Her father, Henry W. Corey, died in 1993.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

*Content from the Baltimore Sun was used to compile this report.

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