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Catherine Mackin papers

 Collection 0100-MDHC

Catherine "Cassie" Mackin (1939-1982) was a television network correspondent noted for her national politics and government knowledge. After graduating from the University of Maryland, she worked for the Baltimore Sun from 1960-1963 and the Hearst newspapers' Washington bureau from 1963-1969. She began her television career at WRC-TV in Washington, where she worked from 1969 to 1971. She was then hired by NBC News and was the network's first female correspondent to serve as a floor reporter at the Democratic and National Conventions in 1972. In 1976, she became the first woman to anchor an evening network newscast regularly. Switching to ABC in 1977, Mackin served as Senate correspondent and covered the 1980 Democratic primary campaign of Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

Her papers reflect her work as a political correspondent and reporter for the Hearst News Bureau and two television news networks. The collection includes notes and articles on significant political figures and events and an extensive file of articles by Mackin and audiotapes of speeches and interviews and videotapes of her broadcasts. The majority of the later dated materials document the 1972 presidential race and Senator Edward M. Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1980.


  • 1956-1980
  • Majority of material found within 1971-1980

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


18.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Catherine Mackin papers include materials that cover the years 1956 to 1980. The majority of the material documents the period 1971 to 1980. The collection reflects the interests and responsibilities of Catherine Mackin as a political correspondent and reporter for the Hearst News Bureau and two national television news networks. Notes and articles on major political figures and events are prominent in the collection. The majority of the later material is on the 1972 presidential race and Senator Edward M. Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1980. Also included in the collection is an extensive file of articles written by Catherine Mackin, audio cassettes of speeches and interviews, video tapes of her broadcasts and numerous photographs.


Catherine (Cassie) Patricia Mackin was born 28 August 1939 in Baltimore, Maryland, to Francis and Catherine Mackin. Raised in Baltimore, she attended a local parochial school. Winning a four-year scholarship, she went to the Institute of Notre Dame before entering Washington College in 1956. A year later she transferred to the University of Maryland at College Park. While a student there, she worked for the now defunct Free State Press, a weekly paper published in suburban Washington, D.C. She graduated magna cum laude in June 1960 with a B.A. degree in English and minors in economics and history.

After graduation, Mackin obtained a position at the News American in Baltimore. Beginning as a general assignment reporter, she held a variety of positions before she left the paper in 1963. Between 1960 and 1962 she made guest appearances on both a Baltimore news panel show and on a morning variety show. From 1963 until 1969, Mackin was employed by the Hearst newspapers in their Washington Bureau. During the six years she worked for Hearst, she covered the Justice Department, numerous elections, and presidential campaigns, polishing the talents that would make her a successful national news correspondent.

In 1967, Mackin became one of the few women to receive a Neiman Fellowship to Harvard University where she studied the history of political institutions. Hired by NBC in 1969, she anchored a half hour newscast at WRC TV, the Washington affiliate of NBC, in addition to her reporting responsibilities. A tough minded and tenacious interviewer, Cassie Mackin received national attention three years later when she became NBC's first woman floor reporter at the Democratic and Republican presidential conventions. Her work contributed to the subsequent award of an Emmy to the NBC news team for its coverage. After a brief stint in Los Angeles, Mackin returned to Washington D.C., to become the Sunday evening anchor and congressional correspondent in 1974.

In September 1977, Mackin joined ABC as their Washington correspondent, temporarily covering the Senate. She also worked on a 20/20 story about drunk driving, for which she received another Emmy in 1981. Assigned to the 1980 presidential campaign, Mackin spent a good portion of the year following Senator Edward Kennedy around the country.

Mackin moved to Baltimore in October 198l to live with her sister, Margaret, after having a kidney removed in an effort to stop the spread of cancer. She appeared periodically on "This Week with David Brinkley" as part of a discussion group and updated her drunken driving report for 20/2020/20", but succumbed to cancer on 20 November 1982 at the age of 43.


This collection is organized as ten series:

Series 1
Series 2
Series 3
Series 4
Subject Files and Notes
Series 5
Richard M. Nixon and Watergate
Series 6
1972 Presidential Election
Series 7
Other Elections
Series 8
1980 Edward Kennedy Presidential Campaign
Series 9
Series 10
Video and Audio Tapes

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The Catherine Mackin paper were bequeathed to the University of Maryland by Catherine Mackin and transferred to the Libraries in 1985.

Related Material

The collection originally included a large framed newspaper (from the Hearst papers) that is on display in the Journalism Department, Journalism Building, University of Maryland, College Park.

Processing Information

When the University of Maryland Libraries received the papers of Catherine Mackin, a preliminary inventory of the material showed the areas into which the collection fell and the series were developed accordingly. The files were then sorted and organized; paper clips, staples and duplicates removed; and the materials were placed in acid-free folders. All audio cassettes, video tapes, and photographs were removed and placed in separate series with a separation sheet marking their original location; these materials have been transferred to the tape and photographic collections respectively. All extraneous material was discarded. After the inventory was completed, the Libraries returned several memorabilia items to the family in accordance with their wishes.

Guide to the Catherine Mackin papers
Processed by Betsy Parkin.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 1986-10: Guide revised by Cindy Bendroth.
  • 1990-01: Guide revised by Hope Nisly and Birgit Prelle.
  • 2007-04-15: EAD markup checked and verified using JEdit software by Jennie A. Levine.
  • 2017-07-18: Finding aid checked and revised following ArchivesSpace migration by Emily Flint.
  • 2018-04-03: Finding aid reviewed and minor edits made by Caitlin Rizzo.
  • 2021-07-16: Jim Baxter re-wrote the collection abstract.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742