In his first week as a freshman Larry Margasak walked into The Temple News, saw his calling in life, and never looked back. More than a half-century later, Margasak and journalism are still joined together.
Margasak was hired by The Associated Press soon after graduation in 1965, and stayed with the news service until he retired in February 2013. He worked in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and, starting in 1977, in Washington.
Margasak spent most of his AP career as a congressional reporter and on the Washington investigative team. One of his first congressional assignments was coverage of a sex scandal involving two U.S. House members and teenage pages. Almost every time a new case of misconduct by members of Congress arose, Margasak was assigned to the coverage. Two cases focused on speakers of the House, Jim Wright and Newt Gingrich.
Margasak also had the opportunity to cover events that became part of the nation’s history: the trial of would-be presidential assassin John W. Hinckley Jr.; the impeachment proceedings of then-President Bill Clinton; and the Ken Starr investigation of Clinton’s affair with intern Monica Lewinsky. Margasak covered many of the hot-button issues before Congress: abortion, judicial nominations, civil rights, environmental rules, immigration, government waste and gun control.
In retirement, Margasak volunteers for the News Literacy Project, which sends journalists into high schools to explain how reporters and editors work. He’s also a volunteer at the Smithsonian American History Museum and with the American Film Institute’s annual documentary film festival. To keep in touch with some of his old Temple News friends, Margasak set up an email list for News staffers during the 1960s.