Alumni Profile: Margaret 'Peggy' Thompson Fischer '46
Her work put her on a first-name basis with some of the most influential people of her time.
Journalism - A sporting pioneer
During her journalism career, which spanned five decades, Margaret “Peggy” Thompson Fischer ’46 helped President Harry S. Truman write his memoirs; befriended men such as Joe DiMaggio, Grantland Rice, Bing Crosby, and Rocky Marciano; and gave readers an intimate view into the rise of America’s space program in the 1960s.
Fischer perhaps is best known for her role at Sports Illustrated, where she was considered a pioneer, as one of three women chosen to help publish the first issue that hit newsstands Aug. 16, 1954, for a mere 25 cents.As an undergraduate, she majored in journalism, wrote for The Bucknellian, and ran the yearbook before graduating and applying her skills to a small newspaper in New Jersey.
Before long, Fischer was hired by Time Inc., where she wrote for Life and later was asked by Harry Luce to help start Sports Illustrated.
After Luce died in 1967, Time’s board of directors forced Fischer out, according to her son Arno. “In the ’70s, women were not supposed to be heads of corporations, so they fired her,” he says.
Fischer spent the next phase of her life as a consultant for large corporations such as IBM and Xerox, using the skills she learned as a reporter to identify consumer tendencies and help companies develop products by anticipating how technological advances would impact the world.
Back in the ’70s and ’80s, she speculated that computers, then the size of a typical garage, would one day fit in your lap. She once told her son that, based on research, she believed TVs one day would hang on living room walls.
In her prime, Fischer was known as a workaholic who traveled the globe. Her work put her on a first-name basis with some of the most influential people of her time. Today, Fischer is retired and lives comfortably in her hometown of Greenwich, Conn.