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Marilyn Hagerty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marilyn Hagerty (born May 30, 1926) is a newspaper columnist writing for the Grand Forks Herald. She has been with the paper since 1957, when her husband Jack Hagerty (1918–1997) became editor of the paper. She garnered a measure of fame in March 2012 when her review[1] of a new Olive Garden restaurant in Grand Forks, North Dakota, was noticed by online news aggregators and became an overnight sensation among both critics and admirers. Anthony Bourdain announced plans to collaborate with Hagerty and subsequently published and wrote a foreword for her 2013 book Grand Forks: A History of American Dining in 128 Reviews.[2][3]

Hagerty was awarded the 2012 Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media.[4] Hagerty appeared as a guest Quickfire Challenge judge on Top Chef: Seattle "Even the Famous Come Home."[5]


Hagerty's career in newspapering began in the 1940s when she was a high school student and worked for the Pierre, South Dakota Capital Journal.[6]

By the 1970s, Hagerty had a regular column, and she also began a column of historical reminiscences, That Reminds Me. She was reviewing restaurants at least by 1976. She retired from full-time newspapering in 1991, but soon came back with a part-time schedule but a full-time workload.[6] Hagerty writes five columns for the paper, and does not consider herself a food critic.[7]


Three collections of Hagerty's columns have been published:

  • Echoes: A Selection of Stories and Columns by Marilyn Hagerty (1994,[8] 246 pages, ISBN 0964286009)[9]
  • The Best of The Eatbeat with Marilyn Hagerty (2012, self-published e-book)[10]
  • Grand Forks: A History of American Dining in 128 Reviews (2013, ISBN 9780062228895)

2012 Olive Garden review

In March 2012, for her "Eatbeat" column, Hagerty wrote a review of a recently opened Olive Garden restaurant in Grand Forks, ND. The review was overall positive, stating that "the chicken Alfredo ($10.95) was warm and comforting on a cold day," and calling the Olive Garden "the largest and most beautiful restaurant now operating in Grand Forks."[1]

Blogs started linking to the review the day after it was published, due to the novelty of an unironic, positive review of a chain restaurant. In an interview, Hagerty said she was unfazed by the attention, though she found much of it "rather condescending".[11] She was covered by Good Morning America, appeared March 20, 2012 on Anderson and interviewed on The Today Show and CNN, among others.[citation needed]

Her son James R. Hagerty, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, wrote an article in that newspaper about her newfound fame.[12] He noted that "She doesn't like to say anything bad" in her reviews, and "If she writes more about the décor than the food, you might want to eat somewhere else."[12]

Personal life

Hagerty is of Danish descent. In addition to her son James, she and her husband had two other children, Gail Hagerty (born 1953), presiding judge of the South Central Judicial District of North Dakota, chambered in Bismarck (whose husband Dale Sandstrom is a justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court) and Carol Werner (1954–2011), a lawyer.[13]

During the 1997 Grand Forks flood, Jack and Marilyn Hagerty evacuated to Bismarck, North Dakota, where Jack died on June 13, 1997.[14]


  1. ^ a b Marilyn Hagerty, THE EATBEAT: Long-awaited Olive Garden receives warm welcome Archived 2019-05-12 at the Wayback Machine, Grand Forks Herald, March 7, 2012.
  2. ^ "Bourdain to work with viral Olive Garden reviewer". CBS News.
  3. ^ "Here's Anthony Bourdain's Foreword to Marilyn Hagerty's Book 'Grand Forks'". Eater. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  4. ^ "National award for Grand Forks reviewer Marilyn Hagerty, All of Garden lover". Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  5. ^ "MARILYN HAGERTY: My guest appearance on Top Chef". Grand Forks Herald. 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2012-12-17.[dead link]
  6. ^ a b Bakken, Ryan (March 12, 2012), Marilyn Hagerty: 'The Little Old Lady on Cottonwood Street', Grand Forks Herald, archived from the original on March 13, 2012, retrieved March 14, 2012
  7. ^ Rao, Vidya (March 21, 2012), Eric Ripert 'very happy' Marilyn Hagerty reviewed his restaurant', Bites on Today, archived from the original on March 25, 2012, retrieved March 21, 2012
  8. ^ (September 18, 1994). MARILYN HAGERTY'S WRITINGS GATHERED IN NEW BOOK, Grand Forks Herald
  9. ^ "Echoes; a Selection of Stories and Columns By Marilyn Hagerty (9780964286009): Books". Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  10. ^ results, search. "The Best of The Eatbeat with Marilyn Hagerty" – via Amazon.
  11. ^ Marilyn Hagerty: Interview with genius Olive Garden reviewer Archived 2012-12-20 at the Wayback Machine, City Pages Blogs, Kevin Hoffman, March 8, 2012
  12. ^ a b Hagerty, James R. (March 12, 2012), "When Mom Goes Viral", The A-Hed, Wall Street Journal, retrieved March 13, 2012
  13. ^ "Carol Hagerty Werner". 2011-12-03. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  14. ^ Bismarck Tribune, June 13, 1997,

External links

This page was last edited on 26 August 2020, at 15:38
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