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Gayle King On Mary Tyler Moore: 'She Was So Normal'

I met Mary Tyler Moore twice but I can't say that I knew her.

I watched her Saturday night in my college dorm at University of Maryland. I had a big G on my wall because she had a big M on hers. I wasn't thinking about a television career during these days, but I liked that she showed you could be single, you could be successful and you could be happy. That was huge when you were surrounded by people who were worrying about not having a date on a Saturday night. Mary made it OK not to have a steady boyfriend and she did that while not putting down men. Let's not forget the issues they took on — birth control, sex, gender equality — that was unheard of during these times.

You rooted for her always. You wanted to be like her because she was so damn likeable and relatable. You never felt bad about yourself watching Mary. She was trying to figure it out, just like so many of us in the '70s.

It bothers me that many young women today don't even realize the path that she paved for us. It's odd to feel a big sense of loss for someone I didn't even really know — but Mary was a game changer and I am so grateful.

Gayle King is a co-host on "CBS This Morning" and an editor-at-large for O, The Oprah Magazine. She previously worked at WFSB in Hartford for 18 years.

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