Maralee Schwartz

  • Fall 2007

Maralee Schwartz has spent her entire professional career at The Washington Post, largely as a political reporter and political editor and more recently as a Financial Page editor. As national political editor, Schwartz led an award-winning team of reporters--including Dan Balz, John Harris and David Maraniss--in coverage including three presidential elections, the last term of the Clinton White House, and the first term of the Bush White House.

The Washington Post hired Schwartz in June 1979 as a researcher on the national staff and she quickly found herself concentrating on politics, working with and learning from such top reporters a as Balz, David Broder and Paul Taylor. Schwartz began writing a political notes column (soon copied by The New York Times), which attracted a job offer from Newsweek magazine. At that point Schwartz was made a general assignment political reporter on National, a job that took her on the campaign trail with presidential candidates, to knocking on doors of voters, and to Congress for stories on how the place worked. Schwartz also focused on abortion and women and politics.

During the 1992 general election, Schwartz gradually moved onto the assignment desk, editing political stories, and on Election Night, was named Congressional Editor. For more than four years, Schwartz managed coverage of Congress, including one budget crisis after another, and the 1994 midterm election that led to the Republican takeover of Congress. After the 1996, election, Schwartz became National Political Editor, responsible for all national political coverage as well as coverage of the White House. Schwartz held the job for nearly nine years, a record at The Washington Post. During that time, Schwartz directed coverage of all campaigns, the Clinton impeachment, the government shutdown, the disputed 2000 election, political and policy aspects of Sept. 11, 2001 and the invasion of Iraq.

By 2005, Schwartz wanted a change and in July, The Washington Post editors asked her to revamp two pages in the "A" section. Schwartz created a new "Page Two", which included politics and dispatches from around the country, including one from a sperm bank -- later made famous by Steven Colbert. Schwartz re-created "The Federal Page", which is devoted to coverage of the federal government, turning it into a page full of new features, book reviews, profiles, columns and accountability stories that attracted contributions from across the news room.

In 2006 after more than 27 years on National, Schwartz decided to make a big change and moved to The Business Section, where she is now Deputy Business Editor in charge of corporate governance, white collar crime and the markets.