Sara Fritz, US News & World Report: White House Correspondent; 1981-1983

Sara Fritz (1944-2013) was an award winning, Washington based journalist who covered Congress and the White House for three decades. From 1978-1983 she worked for US News & World Report.

Sara Jane Fritz was born Dec. 16, 1944, in Pittsburgh and raised in Gibsonia, an unincorporated part of Richland Township in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Richland High School in 1962. She then attended Denison University in Granville, Ohio, graduating in 1966 with a degree in English.

In 1978 she started at US News & World Report as White House correspondent, covering the campaign, transition and early years of the Reagan administration, through 1983.

From 1984-1997 Sara worked for the Washington bureau of the Los Angeles Times, writing about such major issues as the Reagan administration Iran-Contra scandal and the Clinton administration Whitewater real estate investigation.

During this time she earned a reputation for congressional finance reporting, and was one of the first journalists to use computer-assisted research to explore Federal Election Commission records on campaign spending. The resulting reporting exposed extravagant spending and was published as Gold-Plated Politics: Running for Congress in the 1990s. Her reporting also resulted in the creation of the manual, Handbook of Campaign Spending.

Sara Fritz won numerous awards for her work. In 1989 she was awarded the Everett McKinley Dirkson Award for the best reporting on Congress for her series “What’s Wrong with Congress?” which examined the low regard Americans (as well as congressional members) had for the institution. In 1997 she was part of a team of Los Angeles Times reporters to share the Polk Award and Goldsmith Prize from Harvard University for investigative reporting, for “Money from Asia,” a series about questionable campaign contributions by Asian donors to the Democratic Party in the 1996 election cycle.

Fritz developed a lung infection after successful hip surgery and was hospitalized for more than month. She was removed from life support at George Washington University Hospital after her family and doctors agreed she would not recover from the debilitating infection. She died on October 16, 2013.

All open materials from this donated collection have been digitized and are available for research. Please refer to our citation guidelines for examples of how to properly cite Reagan Library records. 


Collection Description

This collection consists of printouts of notes from interviews, background briefings and story drafts compiled by Sara and fellow reporters from US News & World Report, arranged alphabetically by folder title.

The bulk of the materials consist of story drafts for US News & World Report and transcript/summaries from Reagan administration spokespersons and officials. The collection includes not only the work of Ms. Fritz, but her colleagues at the magazine. While the vast majority of the interviews were “on the record,” some of the interviewees asked for anonymity or for comments to be “off the record.” Out of deference for the common professional practice of not disclosing sources, we have withdrawn the “off the record” comments of all living persons. In rare instances we have withdrawn the comments of a person – still living – who requested anonymity at the time of the interview.


Box 1

[Appointment Books – 1981]
[Appointment Books – 1982]
[Format information for US News & World Report]
[RR Speech cards – originals, 06/23/1981]
Shooting Pool Report
White House Notes - 11/1980 13 pp
White House Notes - 12/1980 [Orr, Meese]
White House Notes - 01/01/1981 – 01/20/1981 [Meese, Kingsley, Hodsell, J. Baker, Brady, Naughton]
White House Notes - 01/21/1981 – 01/31/1981 [Brady, Dyes, Weidenbaum, Meese, McKeel]
White House Notes - 02/01/1981 – 02/17/1981 [Holdridge, Nofziger, Wirthlin, Nipp, P. James]
White House Notes - 02/18/1981 – 02/28/1981 [Gergen, Schleede]
White House Notes - 03/01/1981 – 03/31/1981 [J. Baker, Meese, Nofziger, Gergen, Bonitati]
White House Notes – 04/01/1981 – 04/08/1981 [Nofziger, Gergen, Meese, Friedersdorf, Stoessel, Zimmerman, Knaus, McMann, Augsbach, Ahearn, Wooten, Wirthlin, Speakes, J. Baker, Deaver]
White House Notes - 04/09/1981 – 04/30/1981 [Webster, Gergen, Fuller, Friedersdorf, Allen, Bell]
White House Notes - 05/01/1981 – 05/31/1981 [Allen, Friedersdorf, Bonitati, Gergen, Nofziger, Weidenbaum, Fuller]
White House Notes - 06/01/1981 – 06/15/1981 [J. Baker, Speakes, Allen, Meese, Nofziger]
White House Notes - 06/16/1981 – 06/30/1981 [Vander Jagt, Speakes, Gergen]
White House Notes - 07/01/1981 – 07/17/1981 [Gergen, Nofziger, Roussel, Friedersdorf, Speakes, Hormats]
White House Notes - 07/18/1981 – 07/31/1981 [Clark, Fielding, Nau, Regan, Fuller, Lugar, J. Baker]
White House Notes - 08/01/1981 – 08/31/1981 [Meese, Gergen, Speakes, Bonatati, Moffett, Wirthlin, Williamson]

 

Box 2

White House Notes - 09/01/1981 – 09/14/1981 [J. Baker, Fuller, Nofziger, Von Damm, Prosperi, Weinberg, Meese, Gergen, Deaver, Friedersdorf]
White House Notes - 09/15/1981 – 09/30/1981 [Speakes, Gergen, Tate, Haig, Allen, Bonitati, Nau]
White House Notes - 10/01/1981 – 10/15/1981 [C. Weinberger, Gergen, Deaver, Speakes, Meese]
White House Notes - 10/16/1981 – 10/31/1981 [Meese, Gergen, Wirthlin, Nofziger, J. Baker, Allen]
White House Notes - 11/01/1981 – 11/15/1981 [Speakes, P. James, Gergen, Fuller, Meese, Williamson, Moore]
White House Notes - 11/16/1981 – 11/30/1981 [Williamson, Lewis, Meese, Gergen, Fuller, Jenkins, Speakes]
White House Notes - 12/01/1981 – 12/31/1981 [Allen, Gergen, Speakes, J. Baker, Turner, Fuller, Meese, Weidenbaum, Williamson]
White House Notes - 01/01/1982 – 01/14/1982 [Eagleburger, Von Damm, P. James, Meese, Gergen, Speakes, J. Baker]
White House Notes – January 1982 [Meese, Speakes, Gergen, Rogers, Jenkins, H. Baker, Wright]
White House Notes – February 1982 (1)[J. Baker, Rollins, Speakes, Gergen, Meese, Boyle, Fielding, Bonitati, Duberstein, McFarlane, Enders, Brock, McPherson, Deaver]
White House Notes – February 1982 (2) [J. Baker, Rollins, Speakes, Gergen, Meese, Boyle, Fielding, Bonitati, Duberstein, McFarlane, Enders, Brock, McPherson, Deaver]
White House Notes – March 1982 (1) [Gergen, Meese, Darman, J. Baker, Fuller, U. Meese, Deaver, Speakes, Clark, Reed]
White House Notes – March 1982 (2) [Gergen, Meese, Darman, J. Baker, Fuller, U. Meese, Deaver, Speakes, Clark, Reed]
White House Notes – April 1982 [Speakes, Gergen, Meese, Rollins, Williamson, J. Baker]
White House Notes – May1982 (1) [J. Baker, H. Baker, Speakes, Gergen, Williamson, Fuller, Darman, Meese, Duberstein, McFarlane, Fielding, Regan, Steinbruner, Sonnenfeldt, Hewitt, Bosworth]
White House Notes – May1982 (2) [J. Baker, H. Baker, Speakes, Gergen, Williamson, Fuller, Darman, Meese, Duberstein, McFarlane, Fielding, Regan, Steinbruner, Sonnenfeldt, Hewitt, Bosworth]
White House Notes – June 1982 (1) [Cheysson, Meese, Hormats, R. Burt, Gergen, J. Baker, Deaver, Haig, Fuller, Bonitati, Darman, Sims, R. Robinson]
White House Notes – June 1982 (2) [Cheysson, Meese, Hormats, R. Burt, Gergen, J. Baker, Deaver, Haig, Fuller, Bonitati, Darman, Sims, R. Robinson]

 

 

Box 3

White House Notes – July 1982 (1) [Gergen, Speakes, Simes, Meese, Fischer, Williamsons, Veliotes, McFarlane, Clark, J. Baker, Olmer, R. Robinson, Pipes]
White House Notes – July 1982 (2) [Gergen, Speakes, Simes, Meese, Fischer, Williamsons, Veliotes, McFarlane, Clark, J. Baker, Olmer, R. Robinson, Pipes]
White House Notes – August 1982 (1) [Duberstein, Shultz, Speakes, Fuller, Sims, Teicher, Meese, J. Baker, Darman, Gergen, Williamson, Von Damm, Thompson]
White House Notes – August 1982 (2) [Duberstein, Shultz, Speakes, Fuller, Sims, Teicher, Meese, J. Baker, Darman, Gergen, Williamson, Von Damm, Thompson]
White House Notes – September 1982 (1)[McFarlane, Kemp, Tutwiler, Meese, J. Baker, Speakes, Gergen, Deaver, Fuller, Eagleburger, Regan]
White House Notes – September 1982 (2) [McFarlane, Kemp, Tutwiler, Meese, J. Baker, Speakes, Gergen, Deaver, Fuller, Eagleburger, Regan]
White House Notes – October (1) [Runkle, Vander Jagt, Williamson, Kemp, Gergen, Meese, Fuller, Sims, Veliotes, Reedy, Hardin]
White House Notes – October (2) [Runkle, Vander Jagt, Williamson, Kemp, Gergen, Meese, Fuller, Sims, Veliotes, Reedy, Hardin]
White House Notes – November 1982 [Tate, Williamson, Speakes, Gergen, Bonitati, Fuller, Pipes, Teicher, Deaver, J. Baker]
White House Notes – December 1982 (1) [Fuller, Duberstein, Wirthlin, Enders, Meese, Gergen, Sims, Darman]
White House Notes – December 1982 (2) [Fuller, Duberstein, Wirthlin, Enders, Meese, Gergen, Sims, Darman]
White House Notes – January 1983 [Meese, Gergen, Williamson, Tutwiler, McFarlane, Sims, Fuller, Duberstein, Veliotes]
White House Notes – February 1983 [J. Baker, Dam, Gergen, Meese, Sims, Speakes, Williamson]
White House Notes – March 1983 (1) [Sims, J. Baker, Bonitati, Gergen, Tutwiler, R. Reagan, Fielding, Meese, Clark, McFarlane, Ikle, Keyworth, Duberstein, Speakes, Whittlesey, J. Baker, R. Burt, Perle, Fuller]
White House Notes – March 1983 (2) [Sims, J. Baker, Bonitati, Gergen, Tutwiler, R. Reagan, Fielding, Meese, Clark, McFarlane, Ikle, Keyworth, Duberstein, Speakes, Whittlesey, J. Baker, R. Burt, Perle, Fuller]
White House Notes – April 1983 (1) [Gergen, Meese, Kemp, McFarlane, Tutwiler, Williamson, Nau, H. Baker, Enders, Stone]
White House Notes – April 1983 (2) [Gergen, Meese, Kemp, McFarlane, Tutwiler, Williamson, Nau, H. Baker, Enders, Stone]

 

 

Box 4

White House Notes – May 1983 (1) [Sims, Fuller, Gergen, Duberstein, J. Baker, Meese, McFarlane, Nau]
White House Notes – May 1983 (2) [Sims, Fuller, Gergen, Duberstein, J. Baker, Meese, McFarlane, Nau]
White House Notes – June 1983 (1) [Nau, R. Burt, Gergen, Deaver, Clark, Kemp, Sims, Bistany, J. Michael, Meese, McFarlane, Speakes]
White House Notes – June 1983 (2) [Nau, R. Burt, Gergen, Deaver, Clark, Kemp, Sims, Bistany, J. Michael, Meese, McFarlane, Speakes]
White House Notes – July 1983 [Meese, J. Baker, Darman, Gergen, Motley, McPherson, Sims, Verstandig, Lewis, Duberstein]
White House Notes – August 1983 (1) [Gergen, Sims, Meese, Sonnenfeldt, Nofziger, Fahrenkopf, Lewis, Speakes, Deaver, Kemp, J. Baker, Darman, Tutwiler, Wirthlin, Sigur]
White House Notes – August 1983 (2) [Gergen, Sims, Meese, Sonnenfeldt, Nofziger, Fahrenkopf, Lewis, Speakes, Deaver, Kemp, J. Baker, Darman, Tutwiler, Wirthlin, Sigur]
White House Notes – September 1983 [Gergen, Sims, Janka, Meese, Deaver, Tutwiler, Fuller, Duberstein]