Maria began her reporting career in the early 1970s, visiting more than 100 countries, interviewing world leaders and celebrities. She was Brazil's first female journalist to cover a war and famously battled racism throughout her career.

Brazilian journalist Gloria Maria passed away on February 2, 2023.
Brazilian journalist Gloria Maria passed away on February 2, 2023. (Afropunk / Twitter)

Gloria Maria, one of Brazil's pioneering TV journalists whose career took off in the early 1970s has passed away aged 73.

Maria is remembered as Brazil's first prominent Black female journalist in Brazil's largely white-male media industry.

Since the beginning of the year, Maria had reportedly been hospitalised in Rio de Janeiro, battling a brain tumour although the cause of her death was not revealed, according to news outlet Power360.

Brazilian President Lula has paid tribute to her, describing her as "one of the greatest journalists" and noted how she covered "important moments" in Brazil and the world's history, interviewing prominent figures.

Lula wrote on Twitter that "she left her mark in the memory of Brazilian men and women."

Maria began her reporting career in the early 1970s, working for Brazil's TV Globo.

During her career she visited more than 100 countries, interviewing different world leaders such as US President Jimmy Carter, celebrities such as Michael Jackson and was the first female journalist from Brazil to cover a war –– reporting on the Falklands War in the South Atlantic.

AgenciaBrasil suggested many Black journalists regarded her as a role model while G1 said she was an inspiration to different generations of Black women in the country.

16 year old Mirella Archangelo who famously recorded alongside Gloria Maria in 2017 remembered how she had wanted to be a teacher until her moment with Maria helped made her dream of becoming a journalist, according to Metropoles.

“When you lose a person you admire, it's like you lose your reflection. I will always keep her in my heart, the affection, the love, all the teachings, ” Archangelo said.

Professor Dione Moura from the Communications Faculty at the University of Brasília said Maria was a "reference" and "inspiration for current and future generations of journalists and black women in Brazil."

"The commercial press, little by little, has opened up space to provide visibility to black journalists and Gloria Maria - a name not to be forgotten, played a founding and historic role,” said Moura.

Quem Magazine said she suffered racism from Joao Figueiredo, Brazil's military leader and politician who served as Brazil's 30th President from 1979-1985.

Maria was also known publicly for battling racism, famously taking a hotel manager to court who reportedly said black people were not allowed to enter the establishment.

Maria was born in Rio de Janeiro and was the daughter of a tailor and a housewife. She leaves behind two daughters.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies