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Herman was born in 1951. She was among the first class of women enrolled in Princeton University in 1969. Herman graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1973.[1] She joined The New York Times in 1973 as its first female sports reporter. At the 1975 National Hockey League’s All-Star game in Montreal, she became the first female reporter to enter a male professional sports locker room.[2] She has had a very successful and eclectic career, ranging from sports writing to assistant dean of communications for Harvard school of Public Health. She has been a writer for the New York Times, the Washington Post, has taught at Harvard, has had other high ranking positions at Harvard, and has published books on Renewable energy, as well as the need for equality.

Early lifeEdit

Herman was born in 1951. She grew up in Port Washington, Long Island, New York.[3] She attended Princeton University in 1969. She was among the first class of women admitted into Princeton University . She graduated from Princeton in 1973 Magna Cum Laude in the first graduating class of women in Princeton history. She was the first female staffer of the Daily Princetonian at her time at Princeton. She started out covering men’s rugby and went on to become the paper’s first female sports editor and later a managing editor.[1]


Herman became the first female sportswriter in the history of the New York Times upon graduation in 1973.[1]

1975 NHL All-Star GameEdit

Robin Herman and Marcel St. Cyr became the first women allowed in a men's professional locker room on January 21, 1975 at the 1975 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal, Canada.[2][4] While the Wales All-Star team easily beat the Campbell Conference All-Star Game 7-1, Robin and Marcel instantly became the news, and television cameras swung to them. Despite Herman's efforts to sway the attention to the game, the story focused on women in the locker room.

“Breaking the locker room barrier” was seen as a symbolic assault on traditional male privilege and power. As the only female member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association at the time, Herman stared down intimidation and eventually pried open the locker rooms of all but four NHL teams before leaving sports for political coverage in 1979.[1]

Other journalismEdit

In 1978, Herman left sports writing to become a political reporter for The New York Times. She was a political reporter for the Times for five years. In 1991 she wrote for the Washington Post and covered issues relating to health and medical fields.[5]


In 2000, Herman served as director of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's[6] office of communications. In 2006 she became the Assistant Dean of Communications and would hold this position for four years.[7] According to HSPH Dean Barry Bloom “Robin has provided an extraordinary level of service to the School community.”[7]


After 13 years at Harvard, Herman established a career in fine arts, painting in watercolor, acrylic and pastel. Her work can be viewed on her Facebook page: and Instagram: @robinc_herman

Political viewsEdit

Aside from writing for the Times as a political writer for five years, Herman currently writes about women’s issues, including sports, on Twitter @girlinthelocker and a website[1] She stated that her idea for the blog started when George W. Bush ran for re-election in 2004. She stated “I felt that women’s rights and integrity were being undermined by the Bush administration and that younger women did not realize that their standing in society was being eroded.” “I wanted to voice a warning that they need to pay attention. I thought my experience as the ‘girl in the locker room’ was shorthand for the barriers we had to break and the case we had to make that we deserved equal opportunity and treatment in the spheres of employment and other rights.” [1]

Published worksEdit

Herman wrote a history of science book “Fusion: The Search for Endless Energy.” (Cambridge University Press, 1990).[5]


Herman is the 17th winner of the Mary Garber Pioneer award, Association of Women in Sports Media's highest honor. The award goes to a person showing distinguished work in the sports media industry and commitment to upholding and advancing the values of AWSM.[1]

See alsoEdit

Robin Herman is mentioned in the documentary "Let Them Wear Towels". The documentary details the struggles of those who first sought to enter the all-male locker rooms in various professional sports leagues. It is part of the series of documentaries produced by ESPN Films entitled Nine for IX. The series focuses on women in sports, and is told through the lens of female film makers.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Lenzi, Rachel (26 December 2014). "Robin Herman named 2015 Mary Garber Pioneer Award winner". Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b Zinser, Lynn (23 January 2010). "In 1975, 2 Women Crossed a Barrier". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  3. ^ Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages. Gale. 2007. p. 866. ISBN 978-0-7876-9394-7.
  4. ^ Zinser, Lynn (21 January 2010). "The First Woman Through the Locker Room Door, 35 Years Ago". Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Robin Herman's Biography". 1 October 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  6. ^ HSPH official documents
  7. ^ a b "Herman is assistant dean for communications at HSPH". 2 February 2006. Retrieved 6 April 2015.