ONE DAY IN 1942, Joseph Shallit dared to point his camera at the Liberty Bell.
Guards closed in and Shallit was handcuffed and thrown in jail. He had broken a city ordinance that allowed commercial or news photographers to photograph the bell, but not ordinary citizens.
Shallit, then a copy clerk at the old Philadelphia Record, phoned in the story from his prison cell to a rewrite person named Louise Lee Outlaw.
The story attracted national attention and eventually the law was repealed.
Joe Shallit got out of jail and married the writer.
Louise Shallit, a pioneering newspaperwoman, author of short stories, articles and novels, and an Army veteran of World War II, died Wednesday. She was 90 and lived in Wynnewood.
Louise wrote short stories for many magazines, including Collier's, Detective Tales, Cosmopolitan, Fantastic, Redbook, Good Housekeeping and Reader's Digest. In the 1960s, she wrote feature stories for the Philadelphia Bulletin's Sunday magazine, including an interview with entertainer Jackie Gleason.
She served in the Women's Army Corps during World War II.
In the 1980s, she wrote romance novels for Harlequin and Silhouette, with such titles as "Dream of Passion," "One Man Forever," "Midnight Lover" and "Victim of Love." They sold well, and were translated into French, German, Italian and Japanese.
She also wrote a history of the Mutual Beneficial Association of Penn Central Employees.
Louise was born in New York City to Claude Raymond Outlaw, a newspaperman, and Margaret Rose Marshall.
The family moved to Orlando, Fla., where Louise was amazed to find orange trees growing in the family's back yard.
She left the oranges when the family moved back to New York. She attended Brooklyn's Bay Ridge High School, an all-girls school, where she was encouraged by an English teacher to pursue a career in writing.
Louise became the first woman reporter for the Florence Evening Star, in South Carolina, and sold her first story to the New York Daily News at age 19. She later came to Philadelphia and went to work for the Record, which closed in 1947.
Her husband, who died in 1995, served in Army Intelligence in World War II, attaining the rank of captain, and also wrote stories and novels. They were married in 1944.
They had lived in Wynnewood since 1960. Referring to her husband, she said in a 1995 interview: "He came home and wrote novels. He wrote detective novels, and I wrote romance novels. We had two dens."
In her later years, Louise suffered from macular degeneration, which prevented her from reading and writing. In 1995, she moved to White Horse Village, a life-care community in Newtown Square.
She is survived by two sons, Jonathan, a music professor at SUNY Oswego, and Jeffrey, a computer science professor at the University of Waterloo, in Ontario; and four grandchildren.