Robin Herman, who broke a significant barrier when she became one of the first female journalists to gain access to players in National Hockey League locker rooms, has died. She was 70 and died Tuesday at home in Waltham, Mass. from ovarian cancer, according to her husband.
The NHL issued a statement mourning her loss, saying she “paved the way for countless women in her field.”
Herman and another female reporter first gained access following the 1975 All-Star game in Montreal, Canada.
Writing about the experience for the New York Times weeks later, Herman said she’d hoped her “mini sports history” moment would go quietly unnoticed. That didn’t happen, as players scrambled for towels and photographers captured the moment.
“It was an important moment, for it loudly heralded the fact that female sportswriters are a reality and that they must be dealt with,” Herman wrote.
In addition to her work at the Times, she wrote for The International Herald Tribune and worked at The Washington Post in its health section. She also wrote the 1990 book, “Fusion: The Search for Endless Energy.”
Herman capped her career as the assistant dean for communications at Harvard University’s School of Public Health in 1999, retiring in 2012.
“Robin helped pave the way for so many women in sports by breaking numerous gender barriers that allowed us to follow in her footsteps,” the Association for Women in Sports Media tweeted.
Survivors include her husband and two adult children. A memorial gathering is planned, but no public details were available.
Statement from the @NHL on the passing of trailblazing journalist Robin Herman. pic.twitter.com/r9NUvNjW8L
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 4, 2022