Edee grew up in Florida; however, she went on to be better known for her work in the print media than for broadcasting. Her career began, simply enough, at the Palatka Daily News while she was a high school student when the paper’s editor let her write a sports column.
In 1932 she went to work for WSUN, her only job in broadcasting, writing scripts for soap operas and hosting her own radio show about motion pictures of the day. At that time, she worked under her maiden name, Edee Nielsen. In 1933 she married Tom Greene and dropped out of radio to start a family, spending her free time helping with her new husband’s advertising business. The marriage was a tumultuous one and lasted for only seventeen years.
She joined the Orlando Sentinel’s women’s pages in 1950 as Edee Greene, the name she would use professionally for the rest of her career. Five years later she married her second husband, Joe Rukenbrod, a reporter who also worked with the paper.
After seven years there, she went on to become a columnist and women’s editor for the Ft. Lauderdale News and authored numerous articles dealing with local social issues. Her popular column, “AhMen,” also won several Penney-Missouri awards for her. She left the newspaper in 1976 but, instead of retiring, spent the next ten years as public relations director for Broward Community College.
She was a former president of the Florida Press Club, and attended Columbia University and the American Press Institute. Her work as a women’s advocate and civic activist is well known – the expansion of a school for the deaf, the establishment of a domestic violence center for the Women in Distress program, Meals on Wheels, among others. Recognition for this work came in 1992 when she was inducted into the Broward County Women’s Coalition Hall of Fame.
Edee passed away in December of 2000 at North Ridge Medical Center in Ft. Lauderdale. She was 87.
(Thanks to Kimberly Wilmot Voss, PhD (University of Central Florida, Orlando) for providing additional information for this bio.)
1932 - 1933 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)