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VOL. 38 | NO. 12 | Friday, March 21, 2014

Popular Tennessean columnist Gail Kerr dies at 52

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NASHVILLE (AP) — Gail Kerr, an outspoken columnist for The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville, died Tuesday. She was 52.

The cause of death appeared to be a blood clot, Kerr's husband, Les Kerr, told The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1pxqqDd). Gail Kerr, who twice beat cancer, had been scheduled to receive a blood transfusion on Tuesday.

"Gail was a consummate journalist," Tennessean Editor and Director of News Maria De Varenne said. "She gave voice to those in the community who didn't have one. She stood up for people and causes she believed in, and she wasn't afraid to spar with politicians and civic leaders when she disagreed with them.

"Her insightful and thought-provoking columns were a mainstay, and she will be missed by her friends at The Tennessean and throughout the community," De Varenne said.

Kerr started working at The Tennessean as a copy girl in 1978 while she was still in high school. After graduating from what is now Rhodes College in Memphis, she returned to the paper in 1983 as a beat reporter. She later served as city editor before becoming a columnist in 2000.

Her final column, which appeared last week, called members of the state House "boneheaded" for voting to delay implementation of Common Core education standards.

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