Dotty Griffith, renowned Dallas food writer and journalist who worked for 36 years at The Dallas Morning News, died after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 71.
Griffith served as editor of the Food Section, then as dining critic for 10 years. She authored a dozen cookbooks, primarily with Texas themes such as Celebrating Barbecue and The Texas Holiday Cookbook, and was editor of Dean Fearing's The Mansion on Turtle Creek Cookbook.
Most recently, she a professor at the University of North Texas, and wrote a weekly column for Katy Trail Weekly.
But it was her big Texas personality — and twang — that made her such a memorable and iconic figure in the world of food writing, and such a popular figure on TV and radio.
A fifth generation Texan, she grew up in Terrell and studied journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, where she wrote for and edited the school newspaper, before joining the Dallas Morning News, where she first covered politics and news, before she was appointed Food Editor in 1977.
It was during that time that she became a "personality," thanks to a radio show she hosted on KRLD about Texas cuisine, called In The Kitchen with Dotty. Ladies (and a few gents) from all over the metroplex would call in with questions.
She became the newspaper's dining critic in 1996, a position she held for 10 years before leaving the newspaper in 2006.
True to Texan form, she was also a hunter.
In 2008, she went to work for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas in Austin, and worked there for five years.
She was named as a University of Texas at Austin Daily Texas Hall of Fame Honoree, and received a Legends Award from the Press Club of Dallas.
She's survived by her son Kelly Griffith Stephenson, daughter Caitlin Stephenson Porto, and three grandchildren.