Olive Garden Reviewer Marilyn Hagerty to Receive Journalism Award


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Our favorite Olive Garden reviewer Marilyn Hagerty will be awarded the 2012 Al Neuharth Excellence in Media Award. She will be joining the ranks of Walter Cronkite, Helen Thomas, Tom Brokaw, Larry King, and Katie Couric, all of whom were recipients of the award.

Although Hagerty’s rise to fame came on the heels of her infamous Olive Garden review, she doesn’t consider herself a food critic. Hagerty writes five columns a week.

USA Today founder Neuharth says in a release:

“Marilyn, my classmate back in the ’40s and editor of the student paper, took a chance on me as rookie reporter, hired me for my first newspaper job and taught me vital lessons about the roles and responsibilities of professional journalists. Those same high principles that Marilyn preached as a young college editor 65 years ago define and distinguish her extraordinary and enduring career.”

This isn’t Hagerty’s first award, either. During her six decades in the profession, she has received 22 Minnesota and North Dakota state AP writing awards, three North Dakota Newspaper Association awards, a Golden Grains nutrition-writing award from the North Dakota Dietetic Association, and second place in a national nutrition-writing competition sponsored by Carnation.

We think congratulations are in order!