Academic Ceremonies - Commencement
Honorary Degree Recipient
Anthony J. Marro
Doctor of Humane Letters
Anthony J. Marro, UVM Class of 1965, is an award-winning reporter and longtime editor of Newsday, one of the nation’s largest newspapers. His long career in journalism began at Marro’s hometown Rutland Herald, where he worked on the sports desk during his high school years. As a reporter for The New York Times and Newsweek during the Watergate years, Marro covered some of the era’s biggest stories from his Justice Department beat. Across decades at Newsday, Marro was a dogged reporter on investigative teams that won Pulitzers for Public Service Reporting in 1970 and 1974. He moved into the managing editor’s role in 1981 and six years later rose to editor, a post he held until his retirement in 2003. Newsday earned a dozen Pulitzer Prizes under Anthony Marro’s leadership.
During his years in Vermont journalism, Marro made a difference with stories such as a series of articles in the 1960s that would later prompt state leaders to create the first anti-billboard law. After moving to New York City and earning his master’s in journalism at Columbia University, Marro quickly made his way on a larger stage. A reporter during a golden era for American investigative journalism, he learned much about his craft from Bob Greene, longtime head of Newsday’s investigative unit. As part of “The Greene Team,” Marro’s reporting contributed to Newsday’s public service Pulitzers for stories on Long Island land scandals and heroin trafficking.
Every breakthrough was built upon days of chasing details and the inevitable dead-ends. Covering the aftermath of Sen. Edward Kennedy’s accident at Chappaquiddick, Marro jumped off the bridge and into the channel himself to test the flow of the current. “It was not a great moment in investigative reporting,” he qualifies, yet the moment illustrates the intense “need to know” that drove all his work. Colleague Les Payne said that Marro’s inherent curiosity and a measure of nerve made him a great reporter, “he asked questions no one else dared ask.”
When Marro moved up in the Newsday hierarchy, he was known as “a reporter’s editor” who gave his editorial team the space to excel. He was a listener, a moderator, a steady hand able to balance the multiple demands of business strategy, editorial, advertising, production, and circulation.In retirement, Marro and his wife, Jackie (Cleary) Marro ’66, live in Scituate, Rhode Island and Bennington, Vermont.