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:

Comic Jessica Williams On 'The Daily Show' And Learning To 'Never Be Average'

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Williams joined The Daily Show when she was 22. She says, "I was younger and I was black and I was a woman, so ... I'm like, I have something to prove." She now stars in The Incredible Jessica James.

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Billy Bragg On Skiffle, The Movement That Brought Guitar To British Radio

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The singer describes skiffle as "a bunch of British school boys in the mid '50s playing Lead Belly's repertoire ... on acoustic guitars." Bragg's new book is Roots, Radicals And Rockers.

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Inside The 'Shakespearean Irony' Of Trump And Bannon's Relationship

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Author Joshua Green says that although Steve Bannon was instrumental to Donald Trump's election, it now appears that the president lacks the ability to implement Bannon's nationalist vision.

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Remembering George Romero, A Filmmaker Who Brought The Dead To Life

Monday, July 17, 2017

Romero was known for graphic horror films like Night of the Living Dead, which showed corpses rising up to feast on the living. He spoke to Fresh Air in 1988.

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How A Medically Induced Coma Led To Love, Marriage And 'The Big Sick'

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Comic Kumail Nanjiani remembers the first time he thought of marrying then-girlfriend Emily V. Gordon: when he saw her in a coma. Now the couple has co-written a romantic comedy based on their story.

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From Injury To Recovery, A Ballerina Fought To Retire On Her Own Terms

Monday, July 10, 2017

Wendy Whelan feared she would never dance again after undergoing hip surgery. The documentary Restless Creature chronicles her recovery and final performance with the New York City Ballet.

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'How To Be A Muslim' Author On Being A Spokesperson For His Faith

Thursday, July 06, 2017

"Professional Muslim" Haroon Moghul says, "Every time something bad happens you're called upon to apologize. ... Your entire identity is pegged to events in other parts of the world."

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In The Event Of Attack, Here's How The Government Plans 'To Save Itself'

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

In Raven Rock, Garrett Graff describes the bunkers designed to protect U.S. leaders in the event of a catastrophe. One Cold War-era plan put the post office in charge of cataloging the dead.

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Sherman Alexie Says He's Been 'Indian Du Jour' For A 'Very Long Day'

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Alexie is excited for a new generation of Native American writers to come on the scene, "so I don't have to answer all the questions," he says. His new memoir is You Don't Have to Say You Love Me.

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Be Bigger, Fight Harder: Roxane Gay On A Lifetime Of 'Hunger'

Monday, June 19, 2017

Gay has finally written the book that she "wanted to write the least." The moment she realized she "never want to write about fatness" was the same moment she knew this was a memoir she had to write.

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Biden Talks Trump, Faith And Fate In Front Of A Live 'Fresh Air' Audience

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Joe Biden became a senator at 30 and this is the first time in 44 years that he hasn't been in office. He talks with Terry Gross about patterns in U.S. politics and his hopes for the Trump presidency.

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For Our 30th Anniversary, Fresh Air Tapes Live With Seth Meyers Of 'Late Night'

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The SNL veteran used to ruminate over shows that didn't quite hit the mark; now the he resists the urge to look back: "It's nice to be in this place where you can be very forward focused," he says.

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For One Saudi Woman, 'Daring To Drive' Was An Act Of Civil Disobedience

Thursday, June 08, 2017

In 2011, Manal al-Sharif filming herself driving in a country where women are banned from getting behind the wheel. Driving, she says, is "a way to emancipate women. It gives them so much liberty."

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'Better Call Saul' Actor Giancarlo Esposito On The Making Of An Iconic Villain

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Six years after the demise of his Breaking Bad character, Esposito is back on TV as the vicious drug lord Gus Fring. He says the current role allows him to take the character "back in time."

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Polar Photographer Shares His View Of A Ferocious But Fragile Ecosystem

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Paul Nicklen has spent decades documenting the Arctic and the Antarctic. "I want people to realize that ice is like the soil in the garden," he says. "Without ice the polar regions cannot exist."

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David Sedaris On The Life-Altering And Mundane Pages Of His Old Diaries

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sedaris' Theft by Finding is a collection of excerpts from those diaries. In it, he revisits major turning points, like how he met his longtime boyfriend and his decision to stop drinking.

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Sen. Al Franken On Comedy, Trump And The 'Curdling' Of Washington

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

As a former SNL cast member, Franken tends to see humor in politics. Despite this, he says his gut reaction to the Trump administration isn't levity: "This guy is outside the norm in many ways."

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Aziz Ansari On 'Master Of None' And How His Parents Feel About Acting

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Now that the second season of his Netflix series is out, the comic is looking forward to some down time. "Forget season three of Master of None," he says. "I'm ... doing season 34 of Aziz Ansari."

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Comic Hasan Minhaj On Roasting Trump And Growing Up A 'Third Culture Kid'

Thursday, May 18, 2017

"I'm an Indian-American-Muslim kid," Minhaj says, "but am I more Indian or am I more American? What part of my identity am I?" His new Netflix special is called Homecoming King.

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After 6 Prison Terms, A Former Inmate Helps Other Women Rebuild Their Lives

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

For Susan Burton, getting on track after being released from prison was a daunting experience. Now she's determined to help other women follow in her footsteps. Her new memoir is Becoming Ms. Burton.

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