Mary Brubaker was born in Des Moines and attended Kirkwood, Callanan and Roosevelt schools. She received a B.F.A. from Drake University in 1957, where she later did post-graduate work and earned a teaching certificate. In the early sixties her first opportunity in television was and 'exercise girl' on The Mary Jane Chinn Show. In 1967 she became the host and producer of The Mary Brubaker Show. For fourteen years she produced a live half-hour talk show in which she interviewed local and national celebrities and featured medical, political, home improvement and fashion news. As the first female reporter on Channel 8 Television in Des Moines, she hosted telethons, fundraisers and live broadcasts of the Drake University Relays Parades and produced weekly public affairs shows. She has been a host of WOI-Radio's 'Iowa Week' programs and a frequent speaker for non-profit agencies. She wrote one chapter in a book entitled Behind the Badge: Stories and Pictures from the DMPD (Des Moines Police Department). Her chapter, 'The Women Who Helped Keep the Peace,' tells the history of the many police women in the Des Moines force. Among these is Brubaker's grandmother, Carrie Cutler Goff, appointed police matron in 1925 and policewoman in 1932. She died in 1939. Brubaker is married to Ted Brubaker and has a son by the same name.
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