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Marjorie Margolies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marjorie Margolies
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 13th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 1995
Preceded byLawrence Coughlin
Succeeded byJon Fox
Personal details
Born (1942-06-21) June 21, 1942 (age 78)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
(m. 1975; div. 2007)
Children7, including Marc Mezvinsky
RelativesChelsea Clinton (daughter-in-law)
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania

Marjorie Margolies (/mɑːrˈɡlz/;[3] formerly Margolies-Mezvinsky; born June 21, 1942) is a fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Fels Institute of Government, an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, and a women's rights activist. She is a former journalist and a Democratic politician. From 1993 to 1995, she was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district.

She is best remembered for casting the deciding vote in favor of President Bill Clinton’s 1993 budget proposal.

Early life, education, and journalism career

Margolies was born in Philadelphia. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963.[4] She was a broadcast journalist for over twenty-four years, winning five Emmy Awards for her work.[5] She worked as a television journalist at WCAU-TV from 1967 to 1969, was a CBS News Foundation Fellow, Columbia University from 1969 to 1970,[4] and then worked for WRC-TV from 1975 until 1990.[5] She was also a correspondent for the Today Show.[5][6]

U.S. House of Representatives


In 1992 she ran for an open seat in Congress for Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district, a largely suburban district outside Philadelphia which Republicans had held since 1916. She defeated Bernard Tomkin in the Democratic primary, 79%-21%.[7] In the general election, she defeated Republican State Representative Jon D. Fox by a margin of 0.5%, or a difference of 1,373 votes.[8]

In 1994, she lost re-election to Fox in a rematch, 49%-45%, a difference of 8,181 votes.[9] She was one of 54 Democratic incumbents who were defeated in the Republican Revolution.


She was on the bipartisan Deficit Reduction Task Force.[10] In 1994, she completed A Woman's Place, a book with the other women in the class of 1992.

Many of her votes cost her re-election bid in 1994. One vote was for President Bill Clinton's controversial 1993 budget, for which she was the deciding vote. She had opposed the bill, until the President called her. House Democrats cheered as the House Republicans jeered, "Goodbye Marjorie!"[11][12] In a 2009 interview with The Daily Beast, she recalled U.S. Congressman Robert Walker (R-Pennsylvania) in particular joining in the Republican jeers. She also recalled the ire of her constituents resulting from her vote, saying "when I went to town-hall meetings, I had to be escorted by the police....I was just surprised at the level of divisiveness and immaturity."[13]

After a health care reform bill passed the House in November 2009, the conservative Americans for Tax Reform featured her 1994 defeat as an example of what could occur in the 2010 midterm elections because of one particular vote to those Democrats in swing districts who voted in favor of that health care reform bill.[14][15] Margolies, however, wrote in the Washington Post that she was glad that she had cast her vote as she had, and urged vulnerable Democrats in Congress to vote for the healthcare bill in March 2010.[16]

Committee assignments

Political activism

After her term in Congress, she was the Chair of the National Women’s Business Council, and the Director and Deputy Chair of the United States delegation to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995.[17]

She currently serves as the founder and chair of Women’s Campaign International (WCI), a group that provides advocacy training for women throughout the world. She is also an adjunct professor at the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.[18] In addition, she sits on the Board of Directors of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.[19]

Political campaigns

1998 gubernatorial election

In 1998, she ran for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. She won the Democratic primary election with 53% of the vote, defeating two other candidates.[20] She became the running mate for State Representative Ivan Itkin. The ticket lost to Republicans Tom Ridge and Mark Schweiker, 57%-31%.[21]

2000 congressional election and bankruptcy

In 2000, she decided to run, but ultimately withdrew from the Democratic Senate primary with five other candidates, for the seat of Rick Santorum, after disappointing fundraising, mother's illness, and legal trouble of her husband, Edward Mezvinsky, which ended in several convictions for fraud. Shortly thereafter, she filed for bankruptcy,[22] but failed to receive a discharge from her debts, based on 11 U.S.C. §727(a)(5). The court found Mezvinsky had failed to satisfactorily explain a significant loss of assets in the four years prior to her bankruptcy filing. The bankruptcy judge stated, in her published opinion, "I find that the Debtor has failed to satisfactorily explain the loss of approximately $775,000 worth of assets (the difference between the $810,000 represented in May 1996 and the $35,000 now claimed in her Amended Schedule B)." Sonders v. Mezvinsky (in re Mezvinsky), 265 B.R. 681, 694 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 2001).

2014 congressional election

Margolies filed the necessary paperwork on May 31, 2013, to run in the Democratic Party primary for a return to Congress from her old district in the 2014 elections. She ran to replace Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Penn.), who was running for Governor of Pennsylvania in 2014. The other Democrats in the race were state Rep. Brendan Boyle of Northeast Philadelphia; state Senator Daylin Leach of Montgomery County; and Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. State Rep. Mark B. Cohen of Philadelphia and former City Controller Jonathan Saidel filed to run, but later withdrew.[23]

On May 17, 2014, Hillary Clinton held her first fundraiser of the year for Margolies's congressional campaign.[24]

On May 20, 2014, Margolies lost the primary election to Boyle.[25]

Personal life

She was married to former U.S. Congressman Edward Mezvinsky, of Iowa, in 1975;[6] they divorced in 2007.[1][26] During their marriage, she was known as Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky. They had 11 children altogether; four from his first marriage, two she had adopted on her own, two sons they had together, and three children adopted together. In 1970, Margolies adopted a daughter from Korea, reportedly the first time a single American woman had adopted a foreign child.[27] The story of the foreign adoption of the girl from Korea as well as her adoption of a girl from Vietnam were detailed in her book, They Came to Stay. From their 11 children, the Mezvinskys have 18 grandchildren as of 2014.[28]

One of their sons, Marc Mezvinsky, married Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The wedding took place on July 31, 2010, in Rhinebeck, New York.[27][29]


  • They Came to Stay, Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1976
  • Finding someone to love, Playboy Press Paperbacks, 1980, ISBN 978-0-87216-650-9
  • The Girls in the Newsroom, Charter Communications, Inc., 1983, ISBN 978-0-441-28929-5
  • A woman's place: the freshman women who changed the face of Congress, Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, Barbara Feinman, Crown Publishers, 1994, ISBN 978-0-517-59713-2

See also


  1. ^ a b Medina, Regina (30 July 2010). "Pop the questions on Chelsea's wedding". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  2. ^ DEBBIE COHEN (April 12, 1996). "Ex-congresswoman laments women's losses since 1992". J Weekly. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  3. ^ "NLS/BPH: Other Writings, Say How? A Pronunciation Guide to Names of Public Figures". Retrieved 2010-08-01.
  4. ^ a b "Marjorie Margolies of NBC Wed to Rep. Edward Mezvinsky". The New York Times. 1975-10-06. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  5. ^ a b c Dale Russakoff (Oct 28, 1992). "The Mother of All Candidates: Marjorie Margolies Mezvinsky, Practicing the Soft Sell". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  6. ^ a b "Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky". Women in Congress. Archived from the original on 2010-09-02. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  7. ^ "Our Campaigns - PA District 13- D Primary Race - Apr 28, 1992".
  8. ^ "Our Campaigns - PA District 13 Race - Nov 03, 1992".
  9. ^ "Our Campaigns - PA District 13 Race - Nov 08, 1994".
  10. ^ Timothy J. Penny, Steven E. Schier (1996). Payment due: a nation in debt, a generation in trouble. Westview Press. ISBN 978-0-8133-2599-6.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  11. ^ Karen Foerstel, Herbert N. Foerstel (1996). Climbing the Hill: gender conflict in Congress. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-275-94914-3.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  12. ^ Krauss, Clifford (1993-08-07). "THE BUDGET STRUGGLE - The House - Whips Use Soft Touch To Succeed". United States. Retrieved 2010-08-01.
  13. ^ "Freshman Terror". The Daily Beast. 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2010-08-01.
  14. ^ Pacini, Benjamin. "Advice to Departing Dems: What to do After You Lose Your Seat." Americans for Tax Reform. Tuesday, November 17, 2009. Retrieved December 15, 2009.
  15. ^ "Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky haunts Democrats as Obama stumps to push healthcare over finish line". The Los Angeles Times. March 15, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  16. ^ "Marjorie Margolies - Democrats: Vote your conscience on health care". 2010-03-18. Retrieved 2010-08-01.
  17. ^ Jeffrey D. Schultz, Laura A. Van Assendelft (1999). Encyclopedia of women in American politics. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-57356-131-0.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  18. ^ "Fels Faculty Member Marjorie Margolies: Bringing More Women to the Table". University of Pennsylvania. 2010-07-26. Archived from the original on 2010-06-21. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  19. ^ "Board Members". Retrieved 2019-10-03.
  20. ^ "Our Campaigns - PA Lt. Governor- D Primary Race - May 19, 1998".
  21. ^ "Our Campaigns - PA Lt. Governor Race - Nov 03, 1998".
  22. ^ Eleanor Clift, Tom Brazaitis (2000). Madam President: shattering the last glass ceiling. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-85619-3.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  23. ^ Emily Schultheis (May 31, 2013). "Marjorie Margolies, Chelsea Clinton's mother-in-law, enters House race". Politico. Retrieved 2013-05-31.
  24. ^ "Hillary Headlines Fundraiser for Chelsea Clinton's Mother-in-Law".
  25. ^ "Another crushing defeat for the Clinton dynasty: In-law thumped in Dem primary". The Washington Times. May 21, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
  26. ^ Curtis, Mary C. "Meet Marc Mezvinsky, Chelsea Clinton's Fiancé". Retrieved 2010-08-25.
  27. ^ a b DEBORAH SOLOMON (August 20, 2010). "QUESTIONS FOR MARJORIE MARGOLIES: The In-Law". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
  28. ^ Crosby, Christine (October 2, 2014). "Meet Marjorie Margolies & Edward Mevzinsky - The Other Grandparents". Grand Magazine.
  29. ^ Shapiro, Howard. "Seeing the "for worse" hasn't scared Chelsea from the altar | Philadelphia Inquirer | 07/29/2010". Retrieved 2010-08-01.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Lawrence Coughlin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district

Succeeded by
Jon Fox
Party political offices
Preceded by
Tom Foley
Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Catherine Baker Knoll
This page was last edited on 16 January 2021, at 05:13
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