Over a 26-year career at Sports Illustrated, Virginia Kraft wrote deeply reported and immersive features, just like her male colleagues, while quietly racking up an unrivaled collection of achievements. A competitive skier who raced sailboats and hot-air balloons, she hunted with kings and drank with Hemingway. She was the first woman to race in a major dogsled event in Alaska, and likely the only mother of four to traverse six continents to take down all of the Big Five trophy animals. So why hasn’t anyone heard of her?
Globetrotting adventure and environmental journalist Emily Sohn unearths and reflects on the legacy of SI’s lost pioneer by re-reporting one of Kraft’s features from nearly 70 years ago. Examining Kraft’s now-controversial choices against her own modern values, Sohn’s profile is as much about being a forgotten trailblazer in publishing’s golden age as it is about being an empowered woman breaking boundaries today.