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USA Today founder honors ND Olive Garden reviewer

Associated Press Modified: October 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm •  Published: October 3, 2012
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"At length, I asked my server what she would recommend," Hagerty wrote. "She suggested chicken Alfredo, and I went with that. Instead of the raspberry lemonade she suggested, I drank water."

Neuharth said he was both "impressed and amused" about the attention placed on his one-time classmate after the column was published earlier this year.

"I was impressed that she wrote the column she did because that's the way she has been in touch with her audience ever since I knew her. But I was a little bit amused that it became a national sensation," Neuharth said.

Hagerty said she was just doing her job when she wrote the review, and she had no idea she would be selected for such a prestigious award.

"Going viral, I did nothing to go viral. The fact that I was selected for this award, I'm overwhelmingly honored," she said.

Neuharth — and the American public — can thank Hagerty for keeping him in newspapers. After he and other soldiers returned to the United States following World War II in the late 1940s, Neuharth teetered between print and radio. Hagerty said she helped convince him that he should stay in the newspaper business.

Both Neuharth and Hagerty said they are looking forward to catching up with each other. They have kept in contact over the years through Christmas cards and have occasionally run into each other at various journalism conventions.

"I remember Al so very well. His personality has always been something you don't forget," Hagerty said.

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Follow Kristi Eaton on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kristieaton.