Terry Gross

Host, Fresh Air

Combine an intelligent interviewer with a roster of guests that, according to the Chicago Tribune, would be prized by any talk-show host, and you're bound to get an interesting conversation. Fresh Air's interviews, though, are in a category by themselves, distinguished by host and executive producer Terry Gross' unique approach. "A remarkable blend of empathy and warmth, genuine curiosity and sharp intelligence," says The San Francisco Chronicle.

Gross isn't afraid to ask tough questions, but she sets an atmosphere in which her guests volunteer the answers rather than surrender them. What often puts those guests at ease is Gross' understanding of their work. "Anyone who agrees to be interviewed must decide where to draw the line between what is public and what is private. But the line can shift, depending on who is asking the questions," observes Gross. "What puts someone on guard isn't necessarily the fear of being 'found out.' It sometimes is just the fear of being misunderstood."

Gross began her radio career in 1973 at public radio station WBFO in Buffalo, New York. There she hosted and produced several arts, women's and public affairs programs, including This Is Radio, a live, three-hour magazine program that aired daily. Two years later, she joined the staff of WHYY-FM in Philadelphia as producer and host of Fresh Air, then a local, daily interview and music program. In 1985, WHYY-FM launched a weekly half-hour edition of Fresh Air with Terry Gross, which was distributed nationally by NPR. Since 1987, a daily, one-hour national edition of Fresh Airhas been produced by WHYY-FM; it now airs on more than 450 stations. Compilation CDs of Fresh Air are available in the NPR Shop.

Gross's book All I Did Was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians and Artists was published by Hyperion in 2004.

In addition to her work on Fresh Air, Gross has served as guest host for the weekday and weekend editions of NPR's All Things Considered. Her appearances include a spot as co-anchor of the PBS show, The Great Comet Crash, produced by WHYY-TV, a short series of interviews for WGBH-TV/Boston, and an appearance as guest-host for CBS Nightwatch.

In 1994, Fresh Air received a Peabody Award, which cited Gross for her "probing questions and unusual insights." In 1999, America Women in Radio and Television gave Gross a Gracie Award in the category of National Network Radio Personality. In 2003, Gross received the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, for advancing the "growth, quality and positive image of radio." She has received honorary degrees from Princeton University, Haverford College and Drexel University. She received a bachelor's degree in English and an M. ED. in Communications from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Her alma mater awarded her an honorary degree in 2007 and a 1993 Distinguished Alumni Award. Gross was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY.

Shows:

Terry Gross appears in the following:

Greta Gerwig Explores Mother-Daughter Love (And Angst) In 'Lady Bird'

Thursday, November 16, 2017

"I don't know any woman who has a simple relationship with their mother or with their daughter," Gerwig says. Her new film tells the story of a teenager preparing to leave home for the first time.

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'Times' Reporters Describe How A Paper Trail Helped Break The Weinstein Story

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Investigative reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey say they used legal and financial records to build a timeline of settlements with Harvey Weinstein's accusers.

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Once An Underground Currency, Bitcoin Emerges As 'A New Way To Track Information'

Thursday, November 09, 2017

The digital currency's value has gone from zero to $120 billion in nine years. Digital Gold author Nathaniel Popper says major banks are looking into the possibilities of its decentralized network.

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Biographer Sought To Write The Kind Of Book Lou Reed 'Deserved'

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

"It wasn't like I had to go looking for the drugs and the sex," Anthony DeCurtis says. "Lou wrote about it ... so I felt it was fair game." DeCurtis' new book is Lou Reed: A Life.

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Photographer Pete Souza Reflects On 8 Years (And 1.9 Million Photos) Of Obama

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

As the chief official White House photographer for President Obama, Souza sometimes shot more than 2,000 photos a day. "I was there all the time," he says. His new book is Obama: An Intimate Portrait.

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'Big Chicken' Connects Poultry Farming To Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Thursday, November 02, 2017

In her new book, health journalist Maryn McKenna explores how many of the chickens consumed in the U.S. have been fed antibiotics, which can lead to serious infections in humans.

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Columnist Lindy West Sees 'Straight Line' From Trolls Who Targeted Her To Trump

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

The New York Times columnist knows what it's like to encounter a barrage of hate from Internet trolls. She says she heard many of their messages repeated by Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.

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'Mindhunter' Actor Jonathan Groff On His Most Life-Altering Roles

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Groff says his work on HBO's Looking changed his life: "It's one of my favorite things I've worked on, the most personal thing I've worked on." He now stars in the Netflix series Mindhunter.

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John Hodgman Reflects On His Mother's Death And White Privilege

Monday, October 30, 2017

Hodgman says, "The biggest privilege of white privilege is the ability to turn off race and pretend that it is not an issue." His new book is called Vacationland.

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'I Can't Breathe' Examines Modern Policing And The Life And Death Of Eric Garner

Monday, October 23, 2017

"The reality is that Eric Garner died at the hands of a police force and a criminal justice system that were designed entirely by white people, for the most part," says journalist Matt Taibbi.

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For Novelist John Green, OCD Is Like An 'Invasive Weed' Inside His Mind

Thursday, October 19, 2017

"It starts out with one little thought, and then slowly that becomes the only thought that you're able to have," Green says. His new novel, Turtles All The Way Down, is about a teenage girl with OCD.

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'I Am Full Of Contradictions': Novelist Amy Tan On Fate And Family

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

In Where the Past Begins, Tan connects her experience with spirituality to that of her parents and grandmother. "I don't consider myself any religion," she says. " ... I have an amalgam of beliefs."

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Sleep Scientist Warns Against Walking Through Life 'In An Underslept State'

Monday, October 16, 2017

"Human beings are the only species that deliberately deprive themselves of sleep for no apparent gain," says sleep scientist Matthew Walker. His new book is Why We Sleep.

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Jimmy Fallon On The School Of 'SNL' And His Tendency To Smile Too Much

Thursday, October 12, 2017

"There was a report card from kindergarten and the comment from the teacher was, 'Jimmy smiles too much,' " Fallon says. "I think I would smile even when I was getting yelled at."

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Noah Baumbach Explores Love, Resentment And Anger In 'The Meyerowitz Stories'

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Baumbach's new film mixes comedy with deep emotional pain. It revolves around three adult siblings whose father is a self-absorbed sculptor. Baumbach's previous films include The Squid and the Whale.

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Tom Petty To 'Fresh Air': 'The Songs Mean A Lot To People, And It Means A Lot To Me'

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Petty, who died Monday night, spoke with Terry Gross in 2006 about the seeds of his Hall Of Fame career: "We always wanted very much to create our own sound."

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Cartoonist Roz Chast Draws A 'Love Letter' To New York City, Cockroaches And All

Monday, October 02, 2017

The New Yorker cartoonist channels her affection for the city into a new tongue-in-cheek guidebook, Going Into Town. "It's just fun," Chast says of New York. "Everything seems to suggest stories."

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Hugh Hefner On Early 'Playboy' And Changing America's Values

Thursday, September 28, 2017

In 1999, Hefner told Fresh Air that his magazine was a reaction to his own upbringing. "I believe and hope that Playboy [has] played some small part in changing the values ... of our time," he said.

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'Deuce' Creators Capture The Birth Of America's Billion-Dollar Porn Industry

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

David Simon and George Pelecanos' new show depicts the growth of porn from illegal enterprise to full-fledged industry. Since then, Simon says, "the 'pornographication' of America has been profound."

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A Former Speechwriter Looks Back On His 'Hopey, Changey' Years With Obama

Monday, September 25, 2017

David Litt says writing speeches and jokes for former President Obama was often a delicate task: "There's a whole industry of people trying to take your words out of context."

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