Tap Dancing To Work

Carol Loomis inducted into New York Journalism Hall of Fame

November 14, 2013: 1:42 PM ET

Fortune senior editor-at-large will mark her 60th year at the magazine in January.

By Anne VanderMey, reporter

131114110416-carol-loomis-620xaFORTUNEĀ -- Fortune senior editor-at-large Carol Loomis -- CEO whisperer and scourge of creative corporate accountants -- was inducted into the Deadline Club's New York Journalism Hall of Fame on Thursday.

She was one of eight journalists honored over lunch at Sardi's, joining a club that includes Mike Wallace, Gloria Steinem, and Barbara Walters. Other newcomers feted Thursday included Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, and veteran editor Norm Pearlstine, the incoming chief content officer at Time Inc., Fortune's parent company.

Loomis, who started at the magazine 60 years ago, was one of the first prominent female financial journalists. She began as a research associate at age 24 and climbed through the ranks, churning out influential stories. One piece compelled the government to begin releasing corporate-style annual financial statements. Another, in 1966, introduced the world to a new financial concept of a "hedged" fund. In that story, Loomis first mentioned a relatively obscure company called the Buffett Partnership, touching off a long friendship with Omahan investor and sometime world's richest man, Warren Buffett (see her book, Tap Dancing To Work).

MORE: Why Norm Pearlstine returned to Time Inc.

Her secret sauce: "I will confess that almost all my inspiration has come from one emotion, fear," she joked in her acceptance speech. "And terrible dread of the moment when I will finally be exposed as a fraud." Her salve has been a mammoth commitment to thorough reporting. "I have never met a document I don't like," she wrote in a retrospective at the 51st anniversary of her Fortune start date. Fortune's editors posited another theory: "Her colleagues know where these business-changing, Congress-stirring stories really come from: her conscience. Carol is the soul of this magazine."

Among her other honors are two Gerald M. Loeb Awards, the Gerald M. Loeb Lifetime Achievement Award, and the first-ever Henry R. Luce Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Loomis, who is 84 years old and still breaking news, has few words to say on retirement: "I probably have to do that one of these days." But not too soon.

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