The University of Iowa Libraries

The University of Iowa Libraries


Zook, Lola M. Edit


Agent Type


  • 1909-1999 (Existence)

Name Forms

  • Zook, Lola M.


  • Biography/Historical Note

    Lola Dorothy Moeller was born September 6, 1909 on a farm near Everly, Iowa. Her parents were Maggie Zetner Moeller and George Walter Moeller. She had one older brother, Leslie George Moeller. As a child Lola Moeller was active in Girl Reserves and Camp Fire Girls. Moeller graduated from Spencer High School in 1926. She attended Grinnell College from 1926 to 1927, and the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa) in Iowa City, Iowa from 1927 to 1930 where she was only the second woman to serve as managing editor of the student newspaper, The Daily Iowan, and earned a B.A. in journalism. Following graduation, Moeller worked at the Tama News Herald in Tama, Iowa before joining the staff on the Coconino Sun in Flagstaff, Arizona where her future husband, Maurice (pronounced Morris) Manford Zook, worked. Lola Moeller married Maurice Zook on August 2, 1932. The couple had no children. The Zooks worked together editing, publishing and writing for newspapers for fifteen years in the southwest United States and Alberta, Canada. From 1936 to 1942 they owned the Flagstaff Journal, in Arizona. Maurice Zook joined the American Red Cross and served in the Pacific theater during World War II. From 1942 to 1946, Lola Zook worked as the news editor for the Madison Star-Times in Madison, Nebraska. In December 1946, Lola Zook joined her husband Maurice Zook, who was stationed in Japan as an American Red Cross director, and spent the following year "vacationing" as an American Red Cross wife and occasional writer. From 1948 to 1951, Lola Zook worked for the Chief of Editorial and Production Division, Natural Resources Section, GHQ, Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, Tokyo. She was responsible for publishing a weekly staff magazine. In addition she edited and managed the production of 150 technical reports, and edited a two-volume book. For her work in Japan, Zook received the Department of the Army Award for Meritorious Civilian Service. The Zooks returned to the United States in 1951. In 1952, the Zooks moved to Washington, D.C. Perusing the classified ads in the newspaper, Lola Zook found a position for a technical writer and editor listed under the heading "male help wanted." Ignoring the obvious gender bias, she applied for the job and became managing editor and chief of the editorial and production office for the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO), a newly formed research firm with contracts to do research for the United States Army. Zook worked at HumRRO from 1952 until 1999, semi-retiring in 1976 but continuing as a publications consultant and editor. Zook also worked for other research firms, and for Editorial Experts (now EEI Communications) during the first dozen years of their existence. Throughout her life Zook joined various organizations as a scholar, woman and technical writer and editor. During her university days, Zook belonged to Phi Beta Kappa, Theta Sigma Phi, Delta Zeta and Mortar Board. She was a member of P.E.O., the Federation of Women's Clubs, the Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, and the American Association of University Women (AAUW). In 1956, Zook joined the Association of Technical Writers and Editors (now the Society for Technical Communication -STC). Zook presented papers at STC conventions, wrote for their journal, and was editor of the first STC anthology on technical editing, published in 1975. She also served on the Society's Scholarship Committee for many years. In 1981, Zook became an Associate Fellow and in 1984 she became a Fellow of the Society. Maurice Zook died in 1981. Lola Moeller Zook died July 30, 1999.