Born in rural Clinton County, Hazel Dicken attended school in Clinton County then graduated from Berea College.
She earned her masters degree from the University of Michigan and her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. She became an educator in the field of journalism at several universities in the United States, eventually teaching in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Minnesota for 30 years. An avid reader and an acclaimed author and co-author, she earned the American Journalism Historians Association’s Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2006. As a charter member of the Clinton County Community Foundation’s 205 Club, she supported the Foundation from its very beginning. Upon her death, she bequeathed a substantial gift to the Clinton County Community Foundation, and in consideration of her love of books and libraries, the Foundation purchased and placed a Tenrec Archivist Quill Book Scanner and printer in the Genealogy research room of the Clinton County Public Library. In recognition of this donation from the Clinton County Community Foundation, the Clinton County Public Library Board has named this research room the Hazel Dicken Genealogy Center in honor of Ms. Dicken.