Mary Schroeder


Mary Schroeder began taking pictures at age 9 because she was curious about the world around her. She came to the Free Press as an intern fresh out of Ohio University in 1979 and stayed for 40 years. When Schroeder stepped into Detroit’s professional sports arena in 1983, it was a man’s world. She was the only female photographer in the country covering sports full time for a major newspaper. She is best known for capturing a jubilant Kirk Gibson celebrating after his second home run in Game 5 of the 1984 World Series. She has been on the sidelines and the frontlines documenting some of Detroit’s most memorable athletes. She photographed Steve Yzerman hoisting the Stanley Cup after the Red Wings broke their 42-year drought. A pioneer in a male dominated world, Schroeder was a plaintiff in a lawsuit that demanded equal access by reporters and photographers of both sexes to the Detroit Lions locker room. The lawsuit was settled, and the Lions agreed to provide equal access to both male and female media members. Mary Schroeder was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame in 2019.