Betty Klaric, 79, Cleveland Press Environmental Reporter, Labor Department Attorney
She was one of the first journalists to be named a full-time environmental reporter for a major daily newspaper
Betty Klaric, former Cleveland Press reporter, became one of the first journalists to be named a full-time environmental reporter for a major daily newspaper in the mid-1960s.
The Highland Heights resident, who died Feb. 24 at age 79, started at the Press in 1955. Klaric was assigned to the women’s department until 1961, when she became a general assignment reporter.
Her dramatic and extensive coverage of the Cuyahoga River fire of 1969, its causes and possible remedies helped shine the national spotlight on the problem of polluted rivers and streams feeding into Lake Erie and other bodies of water.
Klaric won numerous local, state and national honors from environmental, journalism and government organizations. Many credited her with inspiring the creation of federal laws concerning clean water and clean air.
She was the first woman to serve as president of Northeast Ohio Newspaper Guild, Local 1. In 1999, the Press Club of Cleveland inducted her into its Journalism Hall of Fame.
After the Cleveland Press folded in 1982, Klaric earned a law degree from Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and became a government lawyer.
She retired as an attorney for the Labor Department in 1997. After that, she volunteered with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.
Klaric is survived by her sister, Mary.
Calling hours are 4-8 p.m. today at DeJohn-Flynn-Mylott Funeral Home, 28890 Chardon Road, Willoughby Hills, where services will take place at 11 a.m. Monday.
Donations may be made to the American Civil Liberties Union, 4506 Chester Ave., Cleveland, OH 44103; or Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, 1223 W. Sixth St., Cleveland, OH 44113.