Mary Jessup, Author of Tenderloin Stories, Dies at 75

by on July 7, 2016

Mary Jessup, a Tenderloin resident whose story “The Window Washer” captivated Beyond Chron readers, died on May 31 at 75. Jessup wrote other stories about her neighborhood, including “Sidewalk Wisdom in the Tenderloin,” which our readers also enjoyed.

A native San Franciscan, Jessup approached me earlier this year at a Tenderloin Museum event to talk about her writings. I asked her to send them to me and when I saw this line in the first paragraph of The Window Washer—-“But when you live in the Tenderloin, you realize its radiance”—-I was hooked.

Unfortunately, I failed to ever ask Jessup how she came to live in the Tenderloin or what factors led her to become a writer. Fortunately, we have her writings to remember her by.

Earlier this year Carl Finamore, Beyond Chron’s primary labor reporter, suffered a stroke. He remains in rehabilitation. Carl is recuperating at Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation, 1359 Pine St. in San Francisco, Room 518-A. Visiting hours are 11:00am-8:00 pm every day and Carl appreciates friends stopping by to visit.

Randy Shaw is Editor of Beyond Chron

Randy Shaw

Randy Shaw is the Editor of Beyond Chron and the Director of San Francisco’s Tenderloin Housing Clinic, which publishes Beyond Chron. Shaw's latest book is Generation Priced Out: Who Gets to Live in the New Urban America. He is the author of four prior books on activism, including The Activist's Handbook: Winning Social Change in the 21st Century, and Beyond the Fields: Cesar Chavez, the UFW and the Struggle for Justice in the 21st Century. He is also the author of The Tenderloin: Sex, Crime and Resistance in the Heart of San Francisco

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