Marie Cocco is the outsider’s insider in Washington.
Through her diligent reporting, robust writing—and plain common sense—Cocco’s columns translate the noisy arguments of politics so readers can hear clearly their impact on everyday life.
Cocco was among the first journalists to report the emergence of a business-backed movement to privatize Social Security, and to show how years of neglect and policy changes were eroding the private pension system. Her columns on health care, taxes, budgeting, the workplace and other national issues are written so people talk about them in the family room, not the political backroom.
She uses her strength and experience as a reporter to uncover hidden histories that illuminate the present. Stories that Cocco has broken include the secret detention and relocation of Italian-Americans during World War II and the federal government’s record as the nation’s most prolific polluter. Her 1990 series on the government’s pollution record, written with Newsday reporter Earl Lane, was honored by the National Press Club, the White House Correspondents’ Association and Sigma Delta Chi, the National Society of Professional Journalists.
Born in Malden, Mass., Cocco graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University, were she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and won the Peter S. Belfer prize in political science.
She earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, where she won the Robert E. Sherwood prize for studying and reporting on American issues.
Cocco began working as a reporter for the Daily Register of Monmouth County, New Jersey. She joined Newsday in 1980 as a local reporter, and soon advanced to the statehouse bureau in Albany. Since joining the paper’s Washington bureau as a reporter in 1986, she has covered economics, taxes, Capitol Hill and the White House. She covered the last four presidential campaigns, the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton, the 2000 election deadlock and the transition of Hillary Rodham Clinton from first lady to senator. In 2002, her twice-a-week column was syndicated by The Washington Post Writers Group. In 2005, she left Newsday to devote full-time to the column.
Her reporting and commentary on cultural and political topics have won prizes from the Associated Press, the Newswomen’s Club of New York, the New York Newspaper Guild, the New York State Publishers’ Association and the New York Press Club. She has been a guest commentator on CNN, the Fox Network, MSNBC, CNBC and C-SPAN as well as national radio shows.
Cocco lives in Virginia with her husband and two sons.