Fitzwater jumps from small town sports writer to Press Secretary
by Hanna Lundgren
Marlin Fitzwater, the former Press Secretary, was raised on a farm in Kansas and developed his love for sports and journalism which he maintained throughout college. During his
(Photo: Jen Connors)
high school and college careers Fitzwater wrote for his school newspapers and soon discovered that he did not want to become a farmer. He enjoyed the sports scene and writing about teams and games too much.
Upon graduating, Fitzwater knew that he was interested in the “big leagues” of journalism, so he moved to Washington. Fitzwater worked his way up the chain of government, finding new jobs by word of mouth. The Appalachian Regional Commissional offered Fitzwater a government job and told him to come back the next day with a 250 word story about the newly established Commission.
Several years after that, Jim Baker, the Chief of Staff under President Reagan, offered Fitzwater a job as acting Press Secretary. Fitzwater arrived at the White House and was directed to the Oval Office to meet the President to get his approval. Although he said he was scared about meeting the President, Fitzwater realized that “as with anything in life, if you work hard somebody will notice and you will be rewarded for it.” As Fitzwater walked out of the office with a prestigious yet daunting job, he celebrated and said, “Even if I get fired tomorrow, I will still have been the Press Secretary for one day.”
Fitzwater did not know that life would take him from sports to politics, but he would agree that his experience as Press Secretary was rewarding and worth the work.