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Lucy was born in Memphis and raised in Mississippi. Her first newspaper job was covering Citrus County for the Ocala Star-Banner after an editor was told by a local librarian that Lucy read more books than nearly anyone else.
Lucy was hired by the St. Petersburg Times in 1967 and spent years rooting out local corruption and drug smuggling. Her ability to develop sources in all walks of life is legendary, and in 1973 she was sentenced to eight months in jail for refusing to reveal an anonymous source. The Florida Supreme Court overturned the conviction, and her case established a limited right for journalists to protect the names of anonymous sources.
In 1982, Lucy was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for a series of stories about drug smuggling in Dixie and Taylor counties that helped send dozens of people to jail. In 1985, she and Times staff writer Jack Reed won a Pulitzer for revealing corruption in the Pasco County Sheriff’s office, which resulted in the sheriff’s resignation. Throughout her career, her law enforcement sources throughout Florida were unmatched.
After winning the Pulitzer, Lucy was named the Times’ Tallahassee bureau chief. She was a powerful force in the state capital for nearly three decades, breaking stories on issues ranging from maneuverings around the establishment of the state lottery, to Lawton Chiles’ decision to run for governor and his treatment for depression, to relationships between legislators and lobbyists that hurt the public interest. Among her last projects was exposing the excesses and lobbying behind a lavish new appellate courthouse in Tallahassee that led to the resignation of the court’s chief judge.
Lucy was also a member of the board of directors of the Times Publishing Company, the parent company of the Times. She left the board and retired at age 65, but she continued to work part-time for seven more years until she retired again in the spring of 2013. The state Senate’s press gallery is named after her, and she is a member of the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame.