WEST NEWBURY, Mass. (AP) — Mike Mokrzycki, a former journalist and election polling specialist at The Associated Press who later started his own survey research business, died of an apparent heart attack, his wife said. He was 52.
Mokrzycki (pronounced mohr-ZIK'-ee) died Friday night at the couple's home in West Newbury, said Jill Gambon, his wife of 21 years.
Mokrzycki worked for the AP for 24 years. He joined the news cooperative as a reporter in Augusta, Maine, in 1985. Four years later, he transferred to the AP's national editing desk in New York City. In 1993, he was part of a group that won an Associated Press Managing Editors Award for Spot News for the news cooperative's coverage of the first attack on the World Trade Center.
In 1994, Mokrzycki began coordinating exit poll analyses throughout the United States, training reporters and editors nationwide on how to analyze poll data. He went on to become the founding director of the AP's polling unit.
"He loved working with the data; he loved finding the story within the numbers," Gambon said Saturday.
Following his work for AP, Mokrzycki started his own survey research business, whose clients included NBC News, ABC News, The Washington Post and Pew Research Center. In 2011, he also became manager of election polling for NBC.
Mokrzycki, a native of New York City, earned a bachelor's degree from Boston University, where he met his wife while working for the student newspaper.
In addition to his wife, Mokrzycki is survived by two teenage sons.
A wake will be held Tuesday at a funeral home in Chelmsford. A funeral Mass will be held the next morning. A memorial service will be held at a later date.