Maureen Bridgid Dowd (born January 14, 1952) is an American columnist for The New York Times and best-selling author. During the 1970s and the early 1980s, she worked for Time magazine and the Washington Star, where she covered news as well as sports and wrote feature articles. Dowd joined the Times in 1983 as a metropolitan reporter and eventually became an Op-Ed writer for the newspaper in 1995. In 1999, she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her series of columns on the Monica Lewinsky scandal in the Clinton administration.
Dowd was born the youngest of five children in Washington, D.C. and is of Irish American ancestry. Her father, Mike, worked as a Washington, D.C. police inspector, while her mother, Peggy, was a homemaker. Dowd graduated from Immaculata High School in 1969. She received a B.A. in English in 1973 from The Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
Dowd began her career in 1974 as an editorial assistant for the Washington Star, where she later became a sports columnist, metropolitan reporter, and feature writer. When the newspaper closed in 1981, she went to work at Time. In 1983, she joined The New York Times, initially as a metropolitan reporter. She began serving as correspondent in the Times Washington bureau in 1986.
In 1991, Dowd received a Breakthrough Award from Columbia University. In 1992, she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for national reporting, and in 1994 she won a Matrix Award from New York Women in Communications.