Longtime Grand Forks Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty is taking a break from her weekly columns as she recovers from a medical procedure.

Hagerty is recuperating from a recent operation, but said she is feeling better and has been getting visits from family members in recent days. She hopes to return sometime soon, but when exactly that may be – and in what capacity – remains to be determined.

Hagerty, who has worked for the Herald and in journalism for decades, typically writes three columns each week, including the popular Saturday EatBeat column.

Hagerty said she continues to write because she loves to do it and enjoys mingling with people and learning their stories. She also enjoys writing about food because it brings people together.

“I find that most everybody – men, women, children, boys, girls – like to talk about food,” she said, noting it’s just one of the many subjects she’s written about during her journalism career.

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Hagerty recently was bestowed an honorary doctorate at UND during the school’s summer commencement ceremony. A dinner to honor Hagerty for her contributions to the Grand Forks community and journalism was held prior to the August ceremony.

“You epitomize each and every one of (those core values), your sense of hard work (and) your contributions to so many others,” UND President Andrew Armacost said during his speech at the event. “What I've learned about you since moving to town has been your pioneering work within the city of Grand Forks, in the world of journalism, and you're a real exemplar to so many people.”

She has published three collections of her stories and columns throughout her decades-long career at the Herald: "Grand Forks: A History of American Dining in 128 Reviews;" "Echoes; a Selection of Stories and Columns by Marilyn Hagerty;" and "The Best of The Eatbeat with Marilyn Hagerty." She has written nearly 2,000 EatBeat columns since beginning the series in 1976.

"Marilyn is one of those writers whose presence is missed when she takes a break. That speaks to her popularity and also to her skills as a regular columnist. Taking a regular shift at writing columns isn't easy, but she's been doing it, week in and week out, for decades now. It really is amazing," Herald Publisher Korrie Wenzel said. "We sincerely wish her the best recovery – not just because she is a treasure here at the Herald and for our readers, but also because she's just a good person."