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Sylvia Porter, financial writer, dies at 77

Sylvia Porter, a financial reporter and columnist since 1935, died Wednesday at her home in Pound Ridge. She was 77. Miss Porter died of complications from emphysema, said her husband, James Fox.

Her New York Daily News column on personal finance was syndicated by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate to newspapers nationwide.

Her 1975 book, Sylvia Porter's Money Book, sold more than 1-million copies. A second edition was published in 1980.

Last year she published Sylvia Porter's Your Finances in the 1990s, and Planning Your Retirement is scheduled for publication in September.

The three-times-a-week column, titled simply "Sylvia Porter," reached some 40-million readers in 450 newspapers around the world.

Considered by many as America's most widely read economics reporter, Miss Porter had to overcome many barriers in a traditionally male-dominated field.

Early in her career, she used the byline S.

F. Porter to conceal that she was a woman.

She was a freshman at Hunter College specializing in English literature and history when the stock market crashed in 1929. Stunned by her parents' $30,000 loss, she switched her major to economics.

From the beginning, she had a talent for turning the gobbledygook of economics into readable, straightforward and sometimes humorous prose.

She was hired at the New York Post in 1935 to write an occasional financial column and soon had a regular Wall Street beat.

Her first book, How to Make Money in Government Bonds, published in 1939, was recommended both to students and investment counselors.

In 1942, one year after her second book received favorable reviews, the Post decided to consider her gender an asset and changed her byline to Sylvia F. Porter.