columnist and magazine journalist
Automotive journalist Julie Candler is a pioneer whose insight and persistence enhanced vehicle safety, educating the public on one of the twentieth century’s most important inventions.
Over the past three decades, she has authored hundreds of magazine articles on automobiles, travel, camping, boating and other subjects. She was the first woman in the nation to write an automotive column for a major women’s magazine.
Born in Illinois in 1919, Candler graduated from Springfield High School in 1937. While working full time, she attended Wayne State University and later the University of Michigan.
After raising a family, Candler began her journalism career in 1955 as city editor of the Birmingham (Michigan) Eccentric, covering the police beat and writing features. In 1960, she began freelance writing and photography while supplementing her income with public relations work, primarily for non-profit organizations.
In subsequent years, Candler’s career would include writings for Woman’s Day, where her column, “Woman at the Wheel,” appeared monthly for 18 years, from 1965 to 1983.
In addition to trade publications, her stories have also appeared in Working Woman, Advertising Age, Michigan Living, Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News, Motorboating and Sailing, Great Lakes Getaway, McCall’s and Redbook.
For five years, she served on the National Motor Vehicle Safety Advisory Council, a 25-member group that meets in Washington to advise the Secretary of Transportation on safety issues.
Candler remembers a top executive from a major automaker assuring a close friend that, “Everyone knows Julie Candler’s husband writes all those automotive columns.” Candler still laughs about it.
“It’s been a lot of hard work to cover the auto industry, especially when I’d be the only woman at a press conference. Now, at the end of my career, the press corps is sometimes half women. The opportunities afforded women today are endless.”