Marguerite Kelly, columnist and author, has given thoughtful, practical parenting advice for more than 35 years, but as a parent, not an expert.
Marguerite Kelly is not your typical Washington player. She doesn’t have a publicist or a speech agent, she doesn’t invite big shots to parties for business reasons and she thinks that her family is more important than her career.
Marguerite was a reporter, a daily columnist and the assistant woman’s paper editor for the New Orleans Item when she married Tom Kelly at 20 and came to Washington the following year, first to tend his aging parents and then to care for their four children and take an active part in her community.
Over the years Marguerite served on the boards of a settlement house in Washington and the D. C. Public Library and was also on the board of a parent training organization. She also led a successful fight to release a prisoner who had been on death row longer than anyone in U. S. history; she was a Democratic ward leader, found that one of the largest food store chains in the nation was systematically raising some of its prices on Welfare Day in Washington—a charge that led to Congressional hearings and a change of policy by the company—and she was co-director of the press office for Jimmy Carter’s inauguration.
In time Marguerite returned to journalism and wrote articles for local magazines, including one that broke the codes that grocery stores put on all perishable foods, which made all stores to put ‘sell by’ dates across the country on these foods a few weeks later. It was The Mother’s Almanac, which she co-authored for Doubleday in 1975, that solidified her reputation as a parenting expert however, because it was the first book that had parents teach other parents how to rear their young children. This book, which Marguerite revised in 1992, sold more than 800,000 copies and became a Book of the Month selection and a Parents’ Choice winner; it was anthologized in England and translated into French and Portuguese; it was excerpted by Woman’s Day and quoted on everything from Hollywood Squares to Sleepytime Tea. Later she wrote The Mother’s Almanac Goes to School (Doubleday), about 6-12-year-olds, and Marguerite Kelly’s Family Almanac (Simon and Schuster), a collection of some of her Family Almanac columns which ran in the Washington Post for 35 years and was syndicated to other papers for almost as long. Marguerite also wrote a chapter for the revision of What Jackie Taught Us (Perigee), which came out in 2014, as well as monthly columns for Woman’s Day and Family Life magazines and she has written articles in magazines and newspapers for the New York Times Magazine, Parents, Family Circle, the Weekly Standard, Traditional Home, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, Ladies Home Journal and the International Herald-Tribune. In addition, Marguerite’s books and columns have been favorably reviewed in the major U. S. newspapers and magazines; she has been interviewed on hundreds of radio and television shows, including Good Morning America, CBS Morning, CNN, Lifetime, All Things Considered and Diane Rehm; she has lectured extensively and promoted parenting concepts—but never products—for Minute Maid, Disney and MCI.