|Born||Maureen Ann Orth
January 26, 1943
|Notable credit(s)||Vanity Fair correspondent (1989–present), Senior Editor New York Magazine, New West Magazine 1978-80; Newsweek Woman TV Correspondent 1981-83. NBC TV Correspondent 1982-84.Vogue contributing editor (1984–1989), New York Woman columnist (1986–1990), Newsweek lifestyle editor, (1973–1978)|
(married 1983 until his death 2008)
|Children||Luke Russert (born 1985)|
Maureen Ann Orth (born January 26, 1943) is an American award winning journalist, author and a Special Correspondent for Vanity Fair Magazine. She is also the founder of Marina Orth Foundation which has established a model education program emphasizing Technology, English and leadership in Colombia.
Education and early career
Orth began her career as one of the first female writers at Newsweek, where she wrote seven cover stories. Between 1978-80 she was a Senior Editor at New York, New West Magazines. In 1981 she was the principal correspondent of Newsweek Woman on Lifetime TV. From 1983 to 1984 she was a network correspondent for NBC News.
Orth has written for Vanity Fair since 1988 and has been a Special Correspondent for that magazine since 1993. Among the heads of state she has interviewed are Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Argentinian President Carlos Menem, and Irish President Mary Robinson. Shortly after the terrorist attack on the U.S. on 9/11 of 2001, which originated in Afghanistan, she traveled to Central Asia to investigate the connection between drugs and terrorism for "Afghanistan's Deadly Habit."
Orth reported on molestation allegations brought by then-minor Jordan Chandler against Michael Jackson in 1993. Orth subsequently reported for the magazine on Jackson four more times, including articles on Jackson's appearance on ABC News's PrimeTime Live, on a civil lawsuit filed against him in 2003 by concert promoter Marcel Avram, and on the criminal suit brought against Jackson in 2005, again for child molestation.
In 2004, Orth wrote an article about Jackson serving alcohol to a 13 year old Japanese boy named Richard Matsuura in 1998 based on the stories of Myung Ho Lee, Jackson's former business advisor. NBC News' Mike Taibbi contacted Matsuura who said the story was completely false. Vanity Fair has since deleted all references to Matsuura from their website despite Orth's initial refusal to retract the story.
Orth then investigated pedophile priest Paul Shanley. Orth has also written articles on Madonna, Tina Turner, Karl Lagerfeld and Conrad Black. Orth profiled France's First Lady Carla Bruni and detailed the inside story of "Inside Colombia's Hostage War" in the November 2008 Vanity Fair.
Orth wrote the best selling book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History and The Importance of Being Famous, a collection of her pieces from Vanity Fair articles with updates and commentary.
Orth was named by Newsweek as one of the "Overclass 100," and won a National Magazine Award for group coverage of the arts. She was also nominated for a National Magazine Award for her story on Arianna and Michael Huffington, "Arianna's Virtual Candidate," for Vanity Fair in 1994. In 1989 she was given the National Women's Political Caucus Exceptional Media Merit Award for outstanding coverage of women in politics. In 2006 she won a national Alumnae Achievement Award of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity. In 2011 she won a Front Page Award from the Newswomens Club of New York. In 2012 she received the Emily Couric Women's Leadership Award,Charlottesville, Virginia.
Escuela Marina Orth
Orth was a Peace Corps volunteer in Medellín, Colombia, where she helped build Escuela Marina Orth. In 2004 the Secretary of Education of Medellin asked her to help make her school the first public bilingual and computer school in Colombia. It became the first school in Colombia with the One Laptop Per Child project. Since then she has formed two foundations—MarinaOrth Foundation in the U.S. and Fundacion Marina Orth in Colombia. The non profit foundations were formed to create a model program that teaches English, information technology and leadership in three schools serving over 1200 students in the Medeliin area through public private partnerships. The model is now being expanded to other areas in the country. To date, Orth has worked with Intel, Chevron, Motorola, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, Hewlett Packard, Seagate Technology, the Italian embassy,the San Blas Foundation, the Golondrinas Foundation, Nemo Services, Empresas Publicas of Medellin, the government of Antioquia and the city of Medellin and is expanding to other schools throughout the country. In addition, she has worked with the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation and the city of Medellin and state of Antioquia to institute a new program for former Colombia Peace Corps volunteers to return to Colombia for limited periods of time to teach better English teaching methods to Colombian teachers of English. The first group arrived in Colombia in September 2008, the second in 2010. Her foundation is now training students in the repair and maintenance of computers and is offering contracts for maintenance and repair to other Colombian towns and entities with One Laptop per Child. The proceeds from these contracts grows a business to help sustain the foundation. More information can be found on www.MarinaOrthFoundation.org.
She has written extensively on FARC, the Colombian guerrilla group.
Family and personal life
Maureen Orth lives in Washington, D.C. In 1983 Orth married the political journalist Tim Russert, whom she met at the 1980 Democratic National Convention. Tim Russert was the Washington bureau chief of NBC News and moderator of Meet the Press when he died on June 13, 2008. Their son, Luke Russert, who was born in August 1985, is an NBC News correspondent.
Orth is the dedicatee of her friend Larry McMurtry's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Lonesome Dove.She currently serves on the Board of Internews. She has served on the Executive Board of the College of Letters and Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, 2000-20006, She is a Trustee of the University of California, Berkeley, Foundation, 2010 to present.
- National Magazine Award Finalist—article about Michael and Arianna Huffington, (Vanity Fair, November 1994)
- National Magazine Award—group coverage of the arts Newsweek 1973
- Edelstein, Wendy (2004-05-04). "The dangers of media lite: Vanity Fair reporter advises J-school students to do the ‘hard, hard work’ of reporting". UCBerkeley News. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
- Peace Corps. "Notable former Peace Corps Volunteers in Communications". The Peace Corps. Retrieved 2007-01-15.
- Michael Jackson Is Gone But The Sad Facts Remain, June 2009, Vanity Fair.