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Public Citizen Honors Long-Time Dedication to Public Interest

Nov. 30, 2006

Public Citizen Honors Long-Time Dedication to Public Interest

Marlene Thorpe to Receive the Fourth Annual Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marlene Thorpe, an invaluable archivist from the Center for Study of Responsive Law in Washington, D.C., will receive Public Citizen’s fourth annual Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Service Award.

Thorpe has devoted her entire adult career to organizing and providing thousands of people with access to the vast amounts of information collected by the Center for Study of Responsive Law. She has worked with Center-founder Ralph Nader and the Washington-based nonprofit since its inception in 1968. The organization supports and conducts a wide variety of research and educational projects to encourage the political, economic and social institutions of this country to be more aware of the needs of the citizen-consumer.

Public Citizen created the award after Phyllis McCarthy,* a 24-year employee of its Health Research Group, passed away in November 2002. The award is intended to recognize individuals who have worked long and hard for a public interest group, performing critical functions as did McCarthy, but who have not received public credit commensurate with their contributions.

In nominating her for this honor, Nader, who, in addition to Phyllis’ brother Paul McCarthy, will speak at the reception, wrote: “Marlene Thorpe is the Lou Gehrig of the Center. She is the longest-serving person at the Center and is legendary for her consistency, creativity, reliability and excellence in the performance of her work. She seeks no acclaim, no recognition, no credit … as she organizes and categorizes large amounts of informational material for the Center, for staff at other public interest groups and other researchers and advocates in the civic movement.”

*Phyllis McCarthy began her career at Public Citizen in 1978 as the Health Research Group’s managing editor and office manager. McCarthy played an integral part in the development and preparation of numerous health publications, including Worst Pills, Best Pills and more than 1,000 reports, medical journal articles and petitions to governmental health and safety agencies. She passed away in November 2002.