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Werlin, Rosella Horowitz (1904–1985)

Debbie Mauldin Cottrell Biography Entry

Rosella Horowitz (sometimes given as Harwood) Werlin, journalist, was born on September 17, 1904, in New York City, the oldest of seven children of Russian immigrants Henry Jacob and Celia Rachel (Feinberg) Horowitz. Her father's work as a rabbi took the family to several states before they settled in Texas in 1919. While her family moved throughout East and South Texas, Rosella became a newspaper reporter for the San Antonio Light in 1924; she was one of the first women reporters for a large Texas newspaper. In 1928 she married Joseph S. Werlin of Houston. They moved to Illinois, where he studied for his doctorate at the University of Chicago and she worked for the Chicago Journal. The couple, who had three children, returned to Texas in 1934, and Joseph became a professor of sociology at the University of Houston. Werlin began reporting in Houston and Galveston, studied towards a bachelor's degree in journalism, and worked for the Galveston Chamber of Commerce. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Houston, probably in the late 1940s. She also studied at Columbia University and the University of Texas at Austin. Werlin was named director of publicity for the Galveston Chamber of Commerce, the only woman in the country to hold such a job at that time. In this capacity she promoted the tourist attractions of Galveston with a variety of publicity schemes. Throughout her career Werlin had the opportunity to interview well-known people, including Golda Meir, Al Capone, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Pierre Trudeau. Around 1940 the Werlins opened their own travel agency in Houston, Werlin International Cultural Tours, which specialized in taking students and teachers to Central America and Europe. During this time she continued her freelance work and also taught special education in the Houston public schools. After her husband died in 1964, Werlin remained in Houston and continued her writing and teaching. In the 1970s she began semiretirement but remained active in her work and civic pursuits. Werlin's memberships included the Texas Press Association, National Federation of Press Women, Houston Press Club, Women in Communications, Incorporated, and B'nai B'rith Women. She died in Houston on April 1, 1985, and was survived by two sons, one daughter, a brother, and a sister.

Foremost Women in Communications (New York: Foremost Americans Publishing Corp., 1970). Houston Post, November 11, 1971, April 3, 1985. Rosella Werlin Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Werlin Collections, Rosenberg Library, Galveston. Ruthe Winegarten and Cathy Schechter, Deep in the Heart: The Lives and Legends of Texas Jews (Austin: Eakin Press, 1990).


  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Peoples
  • Jews
  • Women

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Debbie Mauldin Cottrell, “Werlin, Rosella Horowitz,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 11, 2021,

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October 1, 1995
July 26, 2017

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