Margolis Career Highlights
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Richard J Margolis Award

About Richard J. Margolis

Career Highlights

selected articles

Selected New Leader Columns

Reports & Monographs

Op-Ed Pieces & Book Reviews

 

Past Winners

2016
David Denver Robinson

 

2015
Daniel Hernandez

 

2014
Blaire Briody

 

2013
Patrick Arden

 

2012
Inara Verzemnieks

 

2011
Sabine Heinlein

 

2010
Doug Hunt

 

2009
Joe Wilkins

 

2008
Gabriel Thompson

 

2007
Stephanie Griest

 

2006
Marie myung-ok lee

 

2005
Kisha Lewellyn

 

2004
Nelson smith

 

2003
John Bowe

 

2002
Iyesatta Massaquoi

 

2001
Otis Haschemeyer

 

2000
Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

 

1999
Susan Parker

 

1998
Laura Distelheim

 

1997
Julie Lasky

 

1996
E.J. Graff

 

1995
Josip Novakovich

 

1994
Maggie Dubris

 

1993
Judith Levine

 

1992
Richard Manning

 

R i c h a r d  J.  M a r g o l i s  A w a r d

Throughout his career, Margolis gave eloquent voice to those who are rarely heard. He was the consummate wordsmith, whose writing style always had touches of poetry even when the subject matter delved into dry public policy issues. He attempted to bring the human story to the forefront, showing how abstract political and policy debates affected real people. Using a combination of humor, eloquence and logic, Margolis tried through his writing to move people -- individuals and politicians -- to come to the aid of people in need.

His career spanned many roles, subjects and forms, which we have organized into the following broad categories:

Freelance Journalist

Articles

As a freelance journalist, Margolis wrote about education, racial issues, urban and rural poverty, Native Americans, migrant farmers, and the elderly. His articles appeared in many publications, including The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, Change Magazine, Harper's Life, The Nation,  The New Republic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Working Papers, and Next.  From 1968-1991, he was a regular columnist for the New Leader.

Reports & Monographs

In addition to being a freelance journalist, Margolis also wrote many longer reports, booklets and monographs, usually for government agencies or private foundations, including Basin Electric Cooperatives, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Carnegie Corporation, Civil Rights Commission, Community Services Administration, Department of Agriculture, Edna McDowell Clark Foundation, Ford Foundation, Housing and Urban Development, National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing, Phelps-Stokes, Postal Rate Commission, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and the United Housing Foundation.

Op-Ed Pieces and Book Reviews

Margolis was also a frequent contributor to the op-ed and book review sections of many newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Books

In addition to numerous reports written for government agencies and private foundations (see below), Margolis also authored one book about low-income elderly Americans: Risking Old Age In America (Westview Press, 1990).

Poet & Children's Author

Margolis wrote 6 children's books and 3 books of poetry for children and adults:

Editor

  • Brooklyn Heights Press, Editor-in-Chief, 1956-60 (awarded the George Polk Memorial Award for Community Journalism in 1959)
  • Change Magazine, Literary Editor, 1973-80
  • Foundation News, Contributing Editor, 1983-1988
  • Human Services in the Rural Environment, Editorial Board Member, 1979-1991
  • New Leader, Regular Columnist, 1970-1990
  • Rural Electrification, Contributing Editor
  • ruralamerica, Editor-in-Chief, 1976-79
  • The Cooperator, Editor-in-Chief, 1972-73
  • Working Papers, Senior Editor, 1981

Educator

  • Kennedy Institute of Politics, Fellow, 1980-81
  • Harvard University, Course on "Power and Conflict in Rural America", 1981
  • University of Connecticut, Writing Course, 1979
  • State University of New York at Purchase, Writing Courses, 1974-77

Political Activist

  • Rural Housing Alliance, Chairman, 1969-75
  • Rural America, Inc., Co-founder and Chairman, 1976-?
  • Speeches