KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Laura Rollins Hockaday, a longtime writer for The Kansas City Star who worked to add diversity to the newspaper’s society pages, died at the age of 79.

Her cousin, Irv Hockaday, former CEO of Hallmark Cards, said she died Tuesday at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City from complications of viral pneumonia.

Hockaday worked at The Star from 1962 to 2000, spending the final 18 years as the paper’s people editor.

The newspaper reports that she accepted that job on the condition that she could define what society was, and she was dedicated to including the under-recognized civic contributions of African-Americans and Hispanics.

Hockaday, who never married, was preceded in death by her parents and a brother.

A private burial is being planned.

Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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