Mary Alice Kellogg was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.
In the 1970 Desert yearbook, I am pictured seated by a typewriter, identified as the Wildcat “Society Editor.” Fie on the snark who came up with that title, for there was no society page. My actual job was to write about everything, including campus protests, bad Student Union cuisine, breaking local news, student politics, interviews with visiting dignitaries … and to produce a slew of earnestly overwritten essays, in which I shockingly came out against the Vietnam War, the atomic bomb, and for equal jobs/pay for women.
The Wildcat was then the fifth largest daily in Arizona; working there cemented my resolve to become a general interest journalist. Thanks to superb Journalism Department newsmen/professors Phil Mangelsdorf, George Ridge and Don Carson, I learned to accurately and objectively report the hell out of any story, then write it without omitting the “five Ws/one H.” In a 40-year career writing and editing national magazines, this generalist has done everything from getting shot at during the siege of Wounded Knee; interviewing politicians, celebrities, criminals and Sami reindeer herders; leading Newsweek’s Patty Hearst kidnapping task force; reporting from a Wall Street riot; reviewing Wagner’s “Ring” one week, and Michelin-starred Paris restaurants the next. (I prefer Paris to getting fired upon.) And I have never, in four decades in any publication, misspelled someone’s name. I still live with the fear of an automatic “F” in class.
I’ve reported from 125 countries to date, carrying the Wildcat ethic to each one, whether it be as a freelance writer, breaking news correspondent, editor-in-chief, custom publishing consultant, or web editorial director. My belief in the power of the written word and the truth it can convey remains strong, whatever the medium. The courage to follow my interests, write about them, to grow and get paid for it, was born at the University of Arizona. I am ever-grateful.
Mary Alice Kellogg is an award-winning writer, editor, media consultant … and a proud Tucson native with continuing deep ties to her hometown. This is no small thing: being a daughter of the desert gave her a sense of possibility, opportunity, and the knowledge that – with spirit and skills – horizons can be expanded, explored and understood.
In recent years, she has been identified as a “travel writer,” which in some circles is a negative term. She rejects that view. Her experience has taught her that travel writing is essential reporting, indeed. She has endeavored to go beyond the “go here/stay there/eat that” cliché, knowing that travel embraces customs, business, psychology, social issues, trauma, behavior, diplomacy, open-mindedness, challenges to individual values and beliefs, personalities, the dinner table, spirit of place … in short, how we live life on an increasingly global scale. Now more than ever it is crucial to help others understand our changing world.
Stepping off her soapbox — at last! – she offers her journey below. And adds that the journey continues!
Newsweek: Correspondent in Chicago, San Francisco; Associate Editor in NY.
WCBS-TV, New York: On-air news Correspondent
Parade: Senior Editor
TV Guide, Glamour, Seventeen, Adweek, Delta Sky: Columnist
Editorial Board: Chicago Journalism Review
News Corporation: Special Projects Editor
Editorial Consultant: Pace Communications, Hearst Corporation, Age Wave Publications
Executive Editor: Delta Airlines’ Shuttle Sheet, Amex Horizons, Get Up and Go sid12533209
Contributing Editor: Bon Appetit, GQ, Delta Sky, EverettPotter.com, FarewellTravels.com
Web Editorial Director: Voyages North America/ supervised international writing and editing team (India, Argentina and U.S.).
Since 1980: Freelance writer, editor, media consultant. My writing has appeared in more than 200 national and international publications, including the New York Times, GQ, Chicago Journalism Review, Columbia Journalism Review, Conde Nast Traveler, Vogue, Bon Appetit, Ladies Home Journal 2533209and others. A complete list/CV can be found at www.maryalicekellogg.com.
BOOKS: Her first book, “Fast Track” (McGraw-Hill, 1978), was the first mass market book to examine the social and business effects of the Baby Boom generation. She is also the author of “Hard Choices, Easy Decisions” (Simon & Schuster), a nonfiction guide to quantifying decision-making.
Adjunct Professor of Journalism: New York University.
AWARDS: Lowell Thomas International Travel Journalism Award, Glamour Woman of Achievement, Westin Star Media.
EDUCATION: BA in Journalism, University of Arizona.
Recipient: 1970 Freeman Medal as outstanding UA graduate
President: Theta Sigma Phi, Wranglers, Chimes
Activities: Spurs, Associated Women Students Secretary, Mortar Board, University Hostesses inaugural class.