It is with a good deal of personal sadness that I have to report to our readers that Mary Jane Fisher, National Underwriter‘s long-time Washington Correspondent, has decided to retire.

It was over a quarter-century ago that Mary Jane began reporting for NU on insurance activities in the nation’s capital. Since that time, her name has become familiar as a reporter who could be trusted to get the story–and always get it right.

Actually, Mary Jane had been involved in journalism for many years before joining NU. A native of Seattle, she majored in journalism at the University of Washington. Her first job out of college was as a reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

During World War II, Mary Jane served for three years in the Navy as a WAVE officer. After the war she accompanied her husband to Paris, where among other things she became friends with Alice B. Toklas, who also hailed from Seattle.

On returning to the U.S., Mary Jane put aside her career to raise twins. On returning to the workforce, she did freelance public relations until she was hired by the National Symphony as publicity director.

It was in 1970 that Mary Jane started reporting on insurance for the Washington Insurance Newsletter. Here, among other things, she covered the months-long gestation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

While she is well-known on both the life & health and property & casualty sides of the business, in recent years Mary Jane has focused on covering major health insurance developments in Congress from the Clinton health plan to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to the still-smoldering battle over a patients’ bill of rights.

In addition to being a terrific reporter, Mary Jane is, as anyone who has met her can attest, a wonderfully warm woman with a wide range of interests.

Mary Jane’s work has added immeasurably to the esteem in which National Underwriter is held in the insurance community. While we are going to miss her and her weekly stories from D.C., her contribution over the past 25 years will be a shining source of inspiration for all of us here at NU in the years to come.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, August 20, 2001. Copyright 2001 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.


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