Give Marquette

Marquette University Alumni Association

Diederich College of Communication Recipients

By-Line Award

Kathryn Zahony Livingston Forgan


New York

English was not the first language of Kathryn Zahony Livingston Forgan, but from the time she was young, she has been fascinated by “the revelatory power of words.”

Born in Budapest, she came to the United States at age 12, when her family escaped communism in Hungary and settled in Cleveland. After graduating from Marquette, she moved to New York City, where she has worked to suffuse her own words with revelatory power since.

An award-winning author of five books — among them Bedlinens, Yesterday is Gone and Eclectic Interiors: Room by Room — Kathryn recently co-authored HighRise LowDown, a history of New York’s most sought-after residential buildings.

“My work has allowed me some very exciting travel,” says Kathryn, whose articles on lifestyles, architecture and more have appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Gourmet, and Travel + Leisure, among others. “Traveling opened my eyes to some incredible human endeavors and magnificent vistas.”

One vista Kathryn got to know well was the view from her office at the Hearst Corp., where she enjoyed a 20-year editorial career, first as fashion writer for Harper’s Bazaar, then as executive editor of Town & Country. She also has worked for Time Inc., Tiffany & Co., and Neiman Marcus and has received many awards, including the Penney-Missouri Award for Excellence in Magazine Journalism and from the Art Directors Club of New York and Public Affairs Department of New York University.

When not living the life of a writer, Kathryn lives in service to others. Her empathy for refugees and immigrants inspired her to provide aid to Vietnamese boat people in the 1970s. Later, she volunteered with the Dooley Foundation/Intermed, helping people in Laos and Cambodia.

“Marquette’s mission of striving for excellence, and the Jesuit ideals of leadership and service, serve as a guiding light for me,” she says.

Fun facts about Kathryn:
Hometown: Cleveland
Favorite books: 100 years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Someone alive or dead she’d like to have dinner with: Violinist Anne Mutter
The Marquette faculty member who had an impact on her: Dr. Jeremiah O’Sullivan
Favorite Marquette memory: Being voted one of the homecoming sweethearts during her junior year. 
In grade school, Kathryn wanted to be an artist or actress.
Most influential person in Kathryn’s life: Her father