Joyce Dopkeen Dies at Eighty


Lori Belmont, Staff Writer

Joyce Dopkeen died of heart failure in Rockville, Maryland in a hospital on January 31, 2023. Dopkeen was the first woman to be hired by the New York Times as a full-time photographer and she stayed with the New York Times for 35 years. She died at the age of 80. Dopkeen had been a pioneer for women’s rights and in her lifetime was able to take photos of many famous people, including Muhammad Ali. During the time she was hired for the New York Times she was 35, so what did she do when she was younger? 

Dopkeen was born on October 23, 1942, in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her father was a pediatrician and her mother was an artist. Dopkeen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in photojournalism in 1964 from Boston University’s School of Public Communications. Dopkeen then went on to get a job immediately at the Montgomery County Sentinel, after working there she joined The Boston Globe as a photographer in 1967 and won first place in United Press International of Massachusetts photography. She left The Boston Globe in 1970 and then went on to work for the New York Times.

Dopkeen is still remembered by her friends and family. “She knew how to capture the perfect moment,” says Nancy Lee, a former picture editor at The New York Times. Joyce Dopkeen continues to affect people even after she died, inspiring women around the world to fight for their rights. 

Since the time she was hired by The New York Times, many women have risen to professional journalism positions. Joyce Dopkeen was living proof that anyone can do anything if they try. 

Unfortunately, Dopkeen and many other pioneers have passed away recently but they will not be forgotten and they have left their mark on history by changing it.