Margaret O. Kirk is an award-winning writer, editor, and author. She specializes in medicine and business.
An independent writer and editor since 1984, Kirk has published in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Inquirer Magazine, Los Angeles Times, TIME, MONEY Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine, The Philadelphia Daily News, Newsweek, The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News, USA Today, Reader’s Digest, CHILD, Businessweek Online, Working Mother, and Good Housekeeping. Prior to her freelance career, she worked as a magazine writer in Philadelphia, Pa., and as a newspaper reporter in Baltimore, Md., Wilmington, Del., and Winston-Salem, N.C. She is the co-author of two widely-referenced non-fiction books: Slow Burn, the story of Centralia, Pa., a mining town destroyed by an underground coal fire; and An Obsession with Rings: How Rowing became an Olympic Sport for Women, the story of Joanne W. Iverson, a rowing champion who worked to make women’s crew an Olympic sport. Kirk has edited non-fiction book manuscripts and memoirs for a range of clients, including a biomedical researcher, an architecture professor, a Philadelphia Mainline matron, a vintage iron collector, a Wrigley Co. heir, and a federal judge.
Kirk launched her newspaper career as a medical journalist, and continued covering medicine as a freelance reporter and magazine writer. Her wide-ranging work on autism, teen pregnancy, childhood diabetes, mental health, and the deinstitutionalization of those with intellectual disabilities was recognized both locally and nationally. She also developed original content for leading online medical resources like KidsHealth.org and breastcancer.org, as well as the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing and the Cooper Medical School at Rowan University. She is the author of numerous histories for medical institutions around the country, including an award-winning centennial history for Cooper University Health Care. She ghost-authored a book on anorexia and its devastating impact on one woman’s life, tracing the disease from adolescence to adulthood. For over a decade, Kirk has been a writer and editor for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted to building a Culture of Health; she is part of a writing team that has developed six books for RWJF’s Knowledge to Action series, published by Oxford University Press from 2017 to 2023. In these books, Kirk writes on social determinants of health and health equity with a focus on: disparities unique to rural America; race and health inequities; the impacts of incarceration and the carceral system on health; and climate crisis' disproportionate impact on marginalized communities.
In addition to medicine and health, Kirk has written extensively about business. She previously worked as a business correspondent for MONEY Magazine and The New York Times, covering business, personal finance, and real estate. “Work Life,” her column for The Philadelphia Inquirer, was syndicated online. She wrote personal finance content and business stories for The Vanguard Group and Knowledge@Wharton, the online magazine at Wharton Business School. She edited On Staffing: Advice and Perspectives from HR Leaders, published by John Wiley & Sons, and is the author of over 25 authorized histories for businesses, colleges, and prominent families. Kirk's three books for the Atlanta-based Rollins family include a biography of Rollins, Inc. founder O. Wayne Rollins; a history of the Rollins company; and the history of Rollins’ purchase of Orkin, considered the first leveraged buyout (LBO) in American business history. Kirk’s biography of Henry B. Tippie - a prominant businessman, rancher, and philanthropist who helped structure the Orkin LBO - was published in 2017 and nominated for an Independent Publisher Book Award. Kirk also served as editor and coordinating publisher for the biography of R. Randall Rollins Sr. in 2018.
In 2022, Kirk expanded her publishing and book packaging ventures under the imprint MoMo Books. She continues to threaten to write fiction and to get a tattoo.
Kirk is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She lives in Philadelphia, Pa., with her husband, who is a college professor, historian, and author. They have three grown sons pursuing diverse careers in architecture/metaverse design, evolutionary anthropology, and public policy/data analytics.