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Mary Corey: Editorial aide rose to top editor at Sun

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 6:12 p.m.

BALTIMORE — Mary J. Corey, the first woman to hold the top editorial post at The Baltimore Sun, died on Tuesday of breast cancer. She was 49.

The paper reported the news of Corey's death on its website Tuesday night.

Corey was named senior vice president and director of content at the Tribune-owned paper in 2010, overseeing all print and digital news operations. She was the first woman to hold the post in The Sun's 176-year history.

Corey joined The Sun in 1987 as an editorial assistant and was quickly promoted to features writer. She served as assistant national editor and national correspondent, held various editing roles in the features department from 1998 to 2003 and was promoted to assistant managing editor for features.

In 2009, she was appointed head of print. That same year, the newspaper went through a severe round of layoffs as parent Tribune Co. was going through bankruptcy.

After she ascended to the paper's top newsroom job, The Sun was named newspaper of the year and best website by the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association.

Sun Publisher Timothy Ryan praised Corey as “a friend and mentor to many here” and as an “extraordinary leader,” according to the paper.

“Amid an unprecedented information revolution, Mary used her leadership and creativity to position The Sun for the future,” Ryan said. “She was exceptionally adept at driving the vital work of the newsroom while embracing opportunities for growth in the digital age.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake praised Corey in a statement on Tuesday night.

“As the first female leader of the Baltimore Sun newsroom, Mary Corey was a trailblazer in her profession and was admired by many,” the mayor said. “I was very saddened to learn of her death following a heroic battle against breast cancer. Mary Corey 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.”

Colleagues remembered Corey's personal warmth as well as her dedication to newspapering.

“I will always remember Mary Corey's exceeding sense of dignity and grace,” former Sun reporter Tanika Davis wrote in a Facebook post. “In this era of constant emoting and public oversharing, her way seemed almost from another time.”

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