Maureen Orth

Maureen Ann Orth (born January 26, 1943) is an American tabloid reporter, author, and a Special Correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine. She is the widow of Tim Russert and also the founder of Marina Orth Foundation which has established a model education program emphasizing technology, English and leadership in Colombia.

Maureen Orth
Maureen Ann Orth

(1943-01-26) January 26, 1943 (age 77)
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
University of California, Los Angeles
OccupationJournalist, author, correspondent
(m. 1983; died 2008)
ChildrenLuke Russert

Education and early careerEdit

Orth attended the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1964.[1] Following her graduation from college, she served in the Peace Corps in Medellín, Colombia, from 1964 to 1966.[2]

Journalism careerEdit

Orth began her career as one of the first female writers at Newsweek,[3] 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. From 1983 to 1984 she was a network correspondent for NBC News.

Orth was a contributing editor at Vogue from 1984 to 1989 and a columnist for New York Woman from 1986 to 1990.

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 has reported on two major Hollywood child molestation cases - Woody Allen's and Michael Jackson's. Her first piece on the Woody Allen and Dylan Farrow case was published in 1992 called "Mia's Story" and twenty years later she followed it up with another article in 2013, "Momma Mia!". The second child molestation case she reported on involved the allegations brought by then-minor Jordan Chandler against Michael Jackson in 1993. Orth subsequently reported for the magazine on Jackson four more times, including scathing 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.[4]

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 sorority. 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.

Family and personal lifeEdit

Orth lives in Washington, D.C. In 1983, she married the political journalist Tim Russert, whom she met at the 1980 Democratic National Convention. 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 a former 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, 2000-2006, She is a Trustee of the University of California, Berkeley, Foundation, 2010 to present.



  • Orth, Maureen (1999). Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U. S. History. New York: Delacorte. Cite has empty unknown parameters: |1= and |authormask= (help)
  • The Importance of Being Famous, 2004

Essays and reportingEdit

  • Orth, Maureen (Jun 2013). "Carla on a hot tin roof". Vanity Fair. 634: 96–105, 125. Cite has empty unknown parameters: |1= and |authormask= (help)



External linksEdit