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Maureen Dowd
Maureen Dowd

Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist

NYS Writers Institute, September 14, 2004
8:00 p.m. Reading, Q&A , Signing | Page Hall,
135 Western Ave., Downtown Campus

Maureen Dowd
, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist, is renowned for her witty, chatty, tart-tongued commentaries on the culture and politics of Washington, D.C. An equal opportunity offender, Dowd is famous for attacking hypocrisy, ridiculing stupidity, making fun of verbal blunders, and pointing out fashion "no-nos" among Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives, populists, elitists, feminists and evangelicals. Though sometimes berated for her skepticism, Dowd told a Boston Globe interviewer, "I believe in skepticism because I believe that’s [journalism’s] role in democracy . . . ."

Dowd’s acerbic but playful style of writing is widely imitated by writers across the ideological spectrum. But,

"There is nobody who does Maureen nearly as well as Maureen. She captures almost the obvious, the one thing that other reporters have seen but can’t make into good stories." - Chief of Correspondents Ann McDaniel, Newsweek

"no other regular newspaper columnist matches her gimlet eye, her sense of phrase, or her unpredictability…. One measure of Dowd’s importance is that even people who profess to despise her seem to read her religiously—and to recycle her jokes at parties. Another is that she is subject to frequent, sometimes scathing, criticism in publications of every ideological stripe and market niche." - A. O. Scott, Slate

Bushworld: Enter at Your Own RiskDowd received the Pulitzer Prize in 1999 for "distinguished commentary" for her coverage of the Clinton sex scandals. Her merciless observations, which spared neither President Clinton nor his accusers, made Dowd a national media celebrity.

Born to a working class Irish Catholic family, Dowd is the youngest of five children of a Washington, D.C. police officer. She received a B.A. degree in English literature from Catholic University in 1973. After college, she took a job at the now-defunct Washington Star, working first as an editorial assistant, then as a sports columnist, metropolitan reporter, and feature writer. After writing briefly for Time magazine, she joined the New York Times as a metropolitan New York City reporter in October 1983.

In 1986, Dowd was reassigned from the New York bureau of the Times, to the Washington bureau, where she has covered four presidential campaigns and served as White House correspondent. She also wrote a column, "On Washington," for the New York Times Magazine.

In 1992, Dowd was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for national reporting, then became a columnist for the paper’s editorial page in 1995, filling a slot left vacant by Anna Quindlen. Dowd’s other prizes include the 1992 Breakthrough Award from "Women, Men and Media" at Columbia University in 1991, and a Matrix Award from New York Women in Communications in 1994. Dowd was named one of Glamour’s Women of the Year for 1996 and won the Damon Runyon award in 2000 for outstanding contributions to journalism.

For the first time, a selection of Dowd’s columns will be published in book form. Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk (August 2004) is a collection that focuses on both the previous and current Bush administrations. In a recent interview on the CBS "Early Show," Dowd, who followed the first President Bush as a national reporter, said that the elder statesman describes their present relationship, "as a love/hate relationship, because he loved it when I would tweak the Clintons, and hates it when I tweak the Bushes."

Additional Links:
Times Union Article

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.